Top Things to Consider when Hiring a Lawyer
When you need a lawyer, you have many choices. But, how do you choose the best lawyer for your needs? Unless you’re a legal expert yourself, chances are you might not have a good idea of what you even need to ask a potential attorney. At Keenan, Ciccitto and Associates, we specialize in real estate law, municipal law, corporate law, wills and estates, commercial law, family law, personal injury claims, and criminal defense, so we have the experience and expertise to guide you.
Here are the top questions you should ask a lawyer when trying to select the best legal professional for your particular situation. And, we’ve thrown in some things to watch out for.
Use Your Social Network
If you were looking for an accountant or a doctor, where would you start? Perhaps the very best way to find a lawyer is through your own social network. Talk to friends, family, neighbors and colleagues who may have faced the same legal dilemma as you.
Beware of “Ambulance Chasers”
If you’ve suffered an accident and a lawyer contacts you out of the blue, do not hire that attorney. This is commonly referred to as “ambulance chasing” and is against the Legal Rules of Professional Conduct. If a lawyer will break those rules to get your business, what other rules is he or she prepared to break? How will that kind of professional conduct affect YOUR case?
If you’re looking for a Montgomery County PA Lawyer, Perkiomen Valley Lawyer or Collegeville Lawyer, contact The Pennsylvania State Bar Association. They can tell you if a lawyer has ever been the subject of an ethical complaint or inquiry. If you see a pattern of questionable conduct, it’s a sign of potential problems. Also, you should check their track records. How did they fare in specific decisions like your own case? There are online services (Westlaw, Lexis or PACER) that can give you this information for a fee, but you may also be able to get it for a lot less at your local law library.
It’s important to know exactly how you will be charged and your attorney should be able to share this information with you during your initial consultation. Attorney fees can vary, so you should also ask how much time the attorney estimates they will spend on your case. An attorney who charges a little less per hour (but takes twice as much time to do the work) won’t save you any money.
Your attorney should be working for your best interests. So, think of the process like a job interview. You’ll want to know about their experience and expertise. And, importantly, you want to be sure you feel comfortable working with your attorney. Some top questions to ask include:
- How many similar matters have you handled?
- What were the results of those cases?
- Which lawyer in the firm will be working on your case?
- Will there be any limitations on the scope of the representation?
- How will you be kept informed about the progress of the case?
- How quickly do you respond to phone calls and e-mails?
- How can I reach you after normal business hours?
- If you are charged for the initial consultation, ask if the amount will be credited to the bill later on.
If you have a legal need in the areas of real estate law, municipal law, corporate law, wills and estates, commercial law, family law, personal injury claims or criminal defense, call Keenan, Ciccitto and Attorneys and we will be happy to discuss your case with you. Or visit us online at Keenanlaw.com.