Some people mistakenly assume that all lawyers do to dispense legal information, which is already available in the public domain. How hard could it be to represent yourself in court, right?
Think again. A professionally qualified and experienced attorney does much more than merely providing legal information.
If your legal issue is complex or involves money, your best chance of handling it successfully might be through a lawyer. They will not only offer strategic advice but also apply their sophisticated technical skills to resolve your legal problems.
Of course, you can easily find an attorney who is willing to act as your legal ‘coach,’ which means they will help you learn about the legal aspects of your problem to the maximum extent possible. And if necessary, they will also take over as your formal legal counsel.
Attributes to Look for in an Attorney
When choosing the right attorney for your legal needs, you need to consider several factors. An attorney’s obligation to their client is one of their most important duties. There are numerous common-sense guidelines, principles, and stringent rules that govern the responsibilities of a legal counselor.
They must be competent
Your legal representative must be able to offer high-quality services to the clients. This means, the lawyer should be highly skilled in analyzing legal matters, and researching and studying the changes in law and legal trends.
They also should be capable of representing their client most professionally and effectively possible to produce favorable results.
They must be able to respect the client’s wishes
Your legal counsel should provide you with advice on the most likely course of actions that can be taken in your case. Then he should act according to the final decision you make – even if the lawyer disagrees with you.
The only exception to this rule is when the client wants the lawyer to engage in illegal activities like stating lies in a legal document or court. In that case, the attorney must inform the client of the legal consequences of such actions.
The attorney must be diligent in their service
If an attorney thinks they cannot spend sufficient time and effort on a case due to heavy workload or any other reason, they should refuse to take that case right away. Putting in a half-hearted attempt can only damage the client’s situation and escalate their legal problems.
A lawyer must be able to act thoughtfully and swiftly in managing their client’s legal affairs. It is imperative that they don’t cause unavoidable delays to handle any aspect of the client’s case.
The attorney must be able to communicate effectively
Effective communication is vital to handling legal matters to the client’s satisfaction. If a client has asked the attorney to explain a particular situation about their case, the attorney must be able to do that within an acceptable timeframe.
Also, if there are changes in a case due to circumstances or time, the attorney must communicate that to the client at the earliest opportunity.
The attorney must maintain discretion
A lawyer should not disclose significant information regarding their client’s case. A client must be able to discuss relevant details related to their case openly and frankly with their lawyer; yes even if the circumstances are embarrassing, damaging, or financially sensitive to the client.
The only way a client can be forthright with their lawyer if he believes that the lawyer will respect the attorney-client privilege.
The attorney must be loyal to his client
What that means is a lawyer cannot offer legal advice to two opposing parties on the same or a related case. Also, a lawyer cannot represent a client whose interest conflict with his affairs.
For example, an attorney cannot guide a client in drawing up a will if the client promises the attorney a substantial sum of money or expensive property in that will.
10 Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Attorney
Now that you know about the various basic guidelines a good attorney always follows, here are a few questions you should ask before hiring a lawyer:
- Has the lawyer undertaken cases similar to yours before?
- Is the lawyer a specialist in a specific stream of law, or a generalist?
- What options would the lawyer appraise to pursue your legal claim?
- What is the most likely outcome that the lawyer foresees for your legal situation?
- Do they recommend additional options such as arbitration or mediation for you?
- How long do they expect it may take until your claim is settled?
- How will this legal professional communicate with you regarding the progress of your case?
- Will anyone else be assisting him in handling your case?
- How frequently will they bill you, and what’s their estimation for fees and services rendered?
- What is their proven track record of success?
At Lubliner Law, we strive to establish a solid rapport with each client, building trust and fostering open communication for smooth legal representation.
Do not Forget to Ask about their Area of Specialization
Gone are the days when a lawyer could take on a criminal case one day and give taxation advice to a business organization the next day. The world of law and legal regulations has grown much more complex and sophisticated.
A stellar attorney will be candid and transparent with potential clients about their experience and specialization. They won’t hesitate to share that their practice is limited to some specific areas of law.
Determine Your Budget
Have a clear budget in mind before you choose an attorney. A budget will guide you and the attorney in understanding what you need and what you can afford.
People think that a well-known and successful attorney will be expensive. While that may be true to a degree, there’s something most people don’t know – even highly expensive lawyers offer affordable solutions.
How? Well, most accomplished lawyers have highly competent junior associates or paralegals who work directly under their guidance. That otherwise unaffordable attorney might refer your case to their proficient junior to handle your situation at a price you will be happier to pay.
Don’t hesitate to tell the attorney your budget and ask if they can accommodate you. You may be pleasantly surprised, and won’t know unles you ask.