July 15, 2018
Hiring a lawyer is a difficult decision. Without much time, you’re forced to a hire a stranger to handle a sensitive and personal matter. Here are some things to look for when hiring a lawyer and if your lawyer is doing a good job.
A good lawyer communicates with clients. Here are a couple of questions to help decide if you’re lawyer is communicating with you. When your attorney sends written communication such as an e-mail, is a one or two sentence e-mail or does it appear the lawyer took time to write the message?
How soon does it take an attorney to respond to your message? It’s true that lawyers are often in court and can’t pick up the phone. But how long does it take for the attorney to call you back?
How difficult is it for you to get a hold of your lawyer? When you call the office does someone pick up or is the phone always going to voicemail.
You should have an expectation that your lawyer will communicate with you. The last thing a client needs is to be left in the dark about their case.
Does your lawyer know what he or she is talking about? You may not necessarily need the lawyer whose tried every case in the book, but you should ask a couple questions of a lawyer before hiring to gauge whether they know what they’re doing. Ask the lawyer about the judge and how the judge operates. Does the lawyer know the prosecutor and the prosecutor’s policies? Has the lawyer represented clients on similar cases or taken such cases to trial?
If a lawyer doesn’t know an answer, does the lawyer try to spin an answer or give an honest response? As lawyers, we haven’t been to every possible court in the state or spent significant time with each judge.
A lawyer should not be hesitant to tell you they don’t have experience with a particular court or judge. A lawyer who tries to spin an answer has placed a premium on making a sale to the client above honesty. This should be a warning sign for a client. A lawyer should be comfortable enough to explain they don’t have that particular experience.
Be Comfortable with the Lawyer you Choose
It’s important that you’re comfortable with the lawyer you choose. When you first meet with your attorney, are you able to establish a relationship? Is the lawyer doing all the talking in the meeting? Does the lawyer ask personal question about you, your family, and your work?
The last thing you want to do is be stuck with an attorney who you are simply not going to get along with. Think about how you felt when you were sitting in the attorney’s office and when you left. Choose a different lawyer if you are uncomfortable.
Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a Criminal Defense in Washtenaw County, Michigan. You can reach Sam at (734) 883-9584 or by e-mail at [email protected] ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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