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7 Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring an Attorney
7 Costly Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring an Attorney
The need for Hiring an attorney is one thing many people fear, but sometimes, it is inevitable if you run a business or find yourself in trouble.
Due to the dire nature of situations some individuals find themselves in, they don’t think it through before hiring a lawyer.
Below are some costly mistakes that could have been avoided before choosing a lawyer to represent your interest:
1. Not defining your problem
The first thing you need to know is that not all situations require the service of an attorney. In some cases, you may only need their advice on what to do. In a situation involving you and a company, reaching out to their customer service department can help solve things instead of involving a lawyer.
When you need the service of an attorney, it’s also important to note that lawyers have their specialty. There are lawyers with vast experience handling divorce cases while there are others who are very good at dealing with personal injury incidents.
Not knowing this may not be a costly mistake if you reach out to a reputable law firm.
“Lawyers are expected to protect their clients’ from situations that could cause them either emotional or financial hardship. This is expected of an attorney irrespective of the client’s level of understanding of the problem,” says The Barnes Firm NY, a personal injury law firm with offices across the United States.
2. Ignoring location
Choosing a lawyer that is not easily accessible whenever you need to discuss something urgently can be a costly mistake.
It’s always advisable to hire an attorney in your locality. Many reputable law firms have offices and lawyers in various states.
This is important because the law varies from one state and area to another. Also, lawyers are expected to be admitted to the bar in each state they wish to practice in.
Aside from this, when your lawyer is not residing locally and would usually travel down because of your case, this may spike the legal fee and except it really worth it, get one in your vicinity. If by any chance that local ones don't really meet your expectations, you can actually get an outsourced consult. For instance, you're having trouble with moving out of the country, immigration outsourcing services should be a good alternative.
3. Hiring a lawyer with a low winning rate
Don’t assume, ask. Request for the past cases your lawyer has worked on and how they handle them. This will help you to know what to expect with your case.
Lawyers become better with experience. The most competent ones have many years of experience handling different clients and cases related to yours.
The lawyers with a high number of won cases tend to charge a little more than the average performing lawyers but you stand a higher chance with them.
Except for minor cases, avoid using a lawyer who just started practicing.
4. Personality and Character
Observe closely the personality and character of your lawyer when you are meeting for the first time. A good lawyer is expected to be passionate about the job and at the same time have compassion for the client.
A case can get intense. Experienced lawyers will find a way to keep their emotions balanced.
They do this while remaining argumentative as much as possible to get you the best deal instead of ceding to the other side.
5. Failure to research legal fee estimate
When hiring a lawyer for the first time, research how legal fees work and the approximate amount you may be charged. It would help you negotiate a good deal.
Attorneys have different fee options. The hourly rate usually turns out to be more expensive when compared to a fixed rate with payment plans.
There is two-echelon of lawyers in a law firm ― the senior and the junior. Confirm the category that would be representing you. Aside from the fee they might mention to you, other charges could make you angry when you discover them later.
Ask them to give you the breakdown of their charges without omitting anything. This will help you in making the best decision based on your budget.
Although the cost of legal fees is dependent on the lawyer’s specialty, experience, and location, the hourly charged rate is estimated to be between $100 and $400.
6. Past clients’ review
This is paramount if you are sourcing for a lawyer online. Most law firms now run a website to connect with prospective clients and it is not unusual to find reviews about them on the sites.
Check the testimonial section to evaluate past clients’ experiences. To double-check, surf their social media pages too.
7. Not establishing ground rules
Lawyers are offering a paid service. They are expected to deliver the worth of money paid. Communicate the least and the best outcome you expect from the case. The lawyer should be able to explain all possible outcomes to you.
Not establishing a ground-rule might signify you are comfortable with any result that the lawyer can get you.