There are numerous people, who suffer from choosing the wrong lawyer, and there are numerous lawyers, who choose to take advantage. There are lawyers who choose to neglect certain cases not just for weeks but months and maybe even years, those who won’t be honest about the case and others who will charge more than they have done. Below are some of the mistakes most people make when hiring lawyers and they should be avoided at all costs.
Combines experience hype
There are law firms who tout to have years of combined experience but the only thing they are trying to do is enhance their credentials. To know a lawyer with experience, don’t go with this hype. They should have their own years of experience instead of hiding behind “combined” which only makes them sound more grand.
Laundry list hype
Law firms that have a list of services might not be the best choice for you. Jack-of-all-trades is normally a master of none so how much are they dedicated to the type of case you have. Of course, a firm could have a laundry list but have different lawyers who specialize in different cases. In such a case, find the lawyer who deals with the issue you have and find out how long they have been in practice. Ask for client testimonials from that lawyer and see if they are actually worth it or you are better off getting another lawyer.
Bigger is better hype
There are numerous things where bigger does not mean better let alone the best, and law firms are one of them. Actually, if you want to have personal attention, you might find it in a less busy medium size firm or a smaller firm. Just because a law firm has group photographs with all the secretaries and clerks does not mean you will be more attended to. You need to ask questions about the services you seek and see the right lawyer for the case. If you are a lawyer, and you need to grow your business it’s a good idea to focus on your branding and marketing. It’s not good to “hype” up a business that doesn’t exist, but it’s also not to your advantage to have so little business! If you have a website, consider doing some configurations to your site to get better search results. If you’re in New England, check out how seo providence can help you today!
If it’s too good to be true
Cheapest is seldom the best. Still, that does not mean that the most expensive is the best. You have to keep in mind that you want someone who will help you, someone attentive, experienced, and knowledgeable and with a good reputation.
Cost is a legitimate factor in hiring a lawyer but it should not override these things. Cheap is always expensive, if you get a cheap lawyer with bad advice, eventfully you will have to hire another one to repair their mistakes. It’s important to educate yourself on what a law firm actually is, so that you don’t fall prey to silly semantics.
- Do not assume
You can’t always believe the yellow pages ads; lawyers are not equal, so investigate before you hire them. Inquire about their reputation in the community and check out what their clients have to say about them. Don’t assume that a pre-paid lawyer is the best either; actually, the best lawyers are normally not from this panel. Of course, you might not need the best lawyer but still, make sure they are qualified to complete the task you have for them.
Once you have selected a lawyer of your choice, try to avoid making these mistakes
- Written fee agreement
Without a written agreement, you can’t really be sure that you and your lawyer have come to an understanding. A written fee agreement will clarify and solidify any expectations from the client and the lawyer. The agreement normally includes the responsibilities of each party as well as the parameters of presentation. In case your lawyer does not mention this, you should.
- Do not sign a document without reading it first
Regardless of what it is, read it. The fact that it was presented by your lawyer does not mean that you should not read it; you even have the right to ask any questions should you not understand it. If there is something incorrect or you want omitted, you will have the chance of telling the lawyer to see to it.
- Failing to ask questions
Ask any question about anything you don’t understand, ask the lawyer about their experience, about their charges, what they expect from you, how they plan to present the case, who will they be working with on your case, anything you feel is relevant. Some of those legal terms that most people don’t understand, make sure you ask what it means when they mention something you are not familiar with.
- Failing to ask for copies of the documents you sign
Whatever documents were involved, fee agreements, divorce manual, office policies you name it, ask for the copy. Once you receive them, keep them safely at least until sometime after the case is concluded and no chance of an appeal.