Interview your Potential Attorney

There are  a few questions you should ask any potential attorney.  If you don’t feel good in the initial meeting about the attorney sitting across from you, MOVE ON.

Who will I be working with? You don’t want to find an attorney you really like only to discover that you’re handed off to a junior associate who you don’t like so much.

How difficult is it to reach you?  When does the attorney normally take calls?  Will he return call after hours?  Does he take calls on the weekends?  You may never need this, but why not find out up front.

How much experience do you have working with clients like me in similar situations? You don’t necessarily want your son’s friend’s DUI lawyer drafting his first trust for you.  Except in certain circumstances, you really don’t want an attorney to be “cutting his teeth” on an issue like yours.  On the other hand, if your issues are minor, and you feel good about the attorney, then you should still consider the attorney.

How do you bill for services? If you’re paying a fixed fee or an hourly rate, you’ll want some idea of what this would cost you and whether it’s worth it.  If you are paying an hourly rate, then you expect your lawyer to take your calls quickly — because you are paying him to answer the phone.

What is your personal opinion of … ?  This may be an unusual question, but in some cases, is a question you should know.  If you are looking for an attorney to represent you on child abuse charges brought by a spouse during a divorce proceeding, ask your attorney how he feels about taking on this issue, and whether his partners, wife or friends will have issues with it.  Better to know now.

The same question can be used because of your profession.  Perhaps you work in a legal, adult nightclub.  As if the attorney is going to have personal, religious or moral issues with your profession.

You are hiring an attorney to represent you and your interests.  If he or his partners or family may have issues with some aspect of his taking your case, then you need to know NOW.

And finally, Do you have any questions for me? A good attorney will be focused on your situation and needs rather than theirs.


Leave a Reply