A 2018 report from the American Bar Association showed that there were 1,338,678 practicing lawyers in the US. That’s a significant increase from a decade earlier when numbers showed 1,162,124. That’s a 15.2% growth spurt.
Why are there so many more active attorneys? It seems that Americans require their legal assistance more often than ten years ago, making the demand higher.
If you’ve landed on this article, then you, too, need to lawyer up. But before you commit to an attorney, you’re probably wondering what questions you need to ask before or during a consultation. The more prepared you are to interview your prospective attorney, the better the chance you’ll find your perfect fit.
We’ve compiled a list of the most important questions to make the process as convenient as possible. Getting a lawyer can be challenging, so we’ve made it as stress-free as possible. Keep reading!
What Is Your Area of Expertise? Do You Have Any Specialties?
Depending on the nature of your case, you may need a lawyer with a specific niche of knowledge.
For example, some practice areas cover:
- Bus or car accidents
- Personal injury
- Social security disability
- Fire or explosion injury
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip-and-fall cases
- Truck accidents
- Wrongful death suits
- Nursing home abuse
The list goes on . . .
So, let’s say you’ve experienced amputation due to an accident. In the tragic event of that happening, you’d want the lawyer with the best knowledge on that subject matter to work your case. Someone in that situation needs more than an injury lawyer—they need an injury attorney that also has experience in the specific area of amputation accidents.
Asking this question can highlight your potential lawyer’s skillset and even illuminate some of their dedication to the job.
How Much Do You Charge for Your Services?
Legal fees vary by the attorney and on a case-by-case basis.
Attorneys also charge their clients in various ways, such as:
- By hour
- A flat fee per service
- A percentage, typically based on the value of what’s at stake (i.e., an estate)
- A contingent fee, meaning you only pay them based on certain outcomes
- You pay them upon the success of your case
Hiring a lawyer is worth every penny—but it can be pricey. That’s why it’s crucial to understand how much you’re likely to owe.
At LaBovick, you pay nothing unless we win your case—because we’re dedicated to getting you the best possible outcome.
How Do You Like to Communicate With Your Clients?
Hiring a lawyer naturally comes with a lot of back-and-forth information. They’ll require answers from you and you from them. There might be a lot of transferring of documentation, status updates on your case, and more.
Knowing this, it’s important to learn about their communication practices. Do they have a time limit on when you contact them? Do they prefer texting, calling, emailing, or meeting in person?
You won’t want to be in the dark about your case and its progress or setbacks. See how and when you can reach your lawyer before you hire them to make sure it works for you, too.
Do You Have an Idea of My Case’s Outcome?
Often, a lawyer can predict your outcome at the very beginning. It’s not guaranteed, but it does provide the client with a general idea of what they can expect going forward.
If they’ve dealt with cases like yours before, they may have a stronger understanding of what the results might be. They may even be able to reference the settlement results of cases like yours and offer you some perspective.
Have You Tried a Case Like Mine Before?
Sure, your lawyer may have gone to law school to study a certain subject pertaining to your case—but have they actually worked cases like yours yet?
Or are you their first one?
You may find that you don’t mind working with a lawyer who is on their first case but seems extremely informed and dedicated. Or, you may want someone who’s tried dozens of cases similar to yours. Still, you have the right to know what you’re getting into one way or another.
Will We Have to Go to Court?
Often, a lawyer will try to settle your case outside of court, making for a more seamless and expedited process. However, in some cases, going to court is inevitable.
During your consultation, your lawyer may be able to give you a rough idea of what you can expect. Ask them if they think you’ll need to attend court or if they believe they can settle outside of it.
This question can prepare you for making a statement in front of others, dealing with multiple court members (including the opposition’s team, if applicable), etc.
Before You Lawyer Up, Come to Your Consultation Prepared With These Crucial Questions
What’s the point of having questions for lawyers?
Because it makes the entire process more transparent for you and them.
You both get an opportunity to lay out important things—your needs and their expertise, your budget and their prices, and so much more. When you ask these questions, you’ll get answers that can make your entire experience a more thorough and seamless one.
We at LaBovick Law Group would love to chat with you and possibly represent your case. We’re there for you to answer any of your concerns.
Please call us at (561) 623-3681 for a complimentary consultation, or click here to fill out our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.