Lawyers often provide a low-cost or free consultation to discuss details of your problem, and this provides you an opportunity to ask him some basic questions. This opportunity, apart from helping you with selecting a lawyer, also helps you to decide whether you should proceed with the specific lawyer. If you decide, later on, to hire the lawyer, go into a comprehensive discussion about your case plus ask him more specific questions too.
Speaking in general, you should have a list of questions to ask the legal professional during the course of the meeting. In addition, you should have no qualms asking a question related to the expertise of the lawyer, his fees, special knowledge, experience, as well as management of your case.
Find below ten questions that you should ask your potential lawyer.
1. The duration for which you have practiced law?
You will, at a minimum, want to know the expertise of the lawyer and whether he is a beginner or veteran. The chances are that someone who has just completed law school might be able to handle your legal issues. The chances are that he might not. It all depends on the complexity of the case.
2. What type of cases do you typically handle and the percentage of your practice is devoted to (knowledge of your case)?
In addition, you will like to know about the expertise of the lawyer and the percentage his practice is devoted to the type of legal issue you want him to handle. For example, you will require a family lawyer who has wide experience in handling adoption cases in case you require help with an adoption case.
3. Who are your typical clientele?
This important question is often overlooked. For example, in case you are an individual facing a specific legal problem, but the attorney with whom you are meeting only represents corporates, he might not be suitable for you. In the same vein, you might like to know the financial background of some of the lawyer’s clientele. The chances are that the lawyer is accustomed to factoring different issues when working with college students vs. high net-worth individuals.
4. The number of cases you have undertaken, which were similar to mine?
Never feel shy to ask this. Feel free to ask the attorney about his track record, like the number of cases he has successfully settled or won.
5. Do you have knowledge or special training, apart from a law degree that might apply in my case?
Cases like patent and DUI cases require specialized knowledge and training for being represented effectively. Make sure that you inquire whether or not your case fits into that category.
6. What are the costs and fees of your attorney and how they are billed?
Will all of my case or just a portion of it be handled by legal assistants (paralegals)? If this is true, query about reduced costs.
This is a vital step. You will want to know how much you need to pay to the lawyer and whether you can afford it. This is a suitable time to ask about payment options plus how often you will be billed and under what circumstances.
7. What is your philosophy or approach or philosophy to representing or winning a case?
The attorney might not be suitable for your case in case he is too aggressive in divorce cases and you are seeking an amicable divorce. In the same manner, a meek attorney will not help if you are looking for an aggressive lawyer to handle an upcoming corporate merger.
8. Can my legal problems be solved in other ways?
Ask the professional if your legal problems can be solved through any alternatives like out of court settlement or through arbitration? A good attorney will typically let you know if he can handle your case through other cheaper and less time-consuming means.
9. How will you inform me what is the status of my case?
Communication is important. Ask the lawyer under what circumstances and how often he will report to you. You want to remain updated about the progress of your case and about other important dates.
10. What is the likely outcome of my case?
Always ask the attorney about your chances of winning the case. Remember, you are simply asking for an honest answer, which is well within your rights. For example, let us assume that you are facing an uphill battle in a nasty divorce case, you will want your lawyer Coquitlam to inform you upfront about the case so that you can prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
Learn more about our Coquitlam lawyers here for more information:
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
2300-2850 Shaughnessy St
Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6K5