So, you need a lawyer. You’ve compiled a list of lawyers you think will be good choices, and you’ve asked friends and family if they know anyone and taken suggestions. Now what? Now you need to sit down with these lawyers and interview them. With a list of pertinent questions as your guide, you can make a logical decision for your needs—even if you don’t have a legal background. While there are so many questions to ask someone before hiring them as your lawyer, go with your gut: ask them things that you’re most concerned about. You’ll also want to ask some of the following questions to someone before you hire them as your lawyer.
10 Questions To Ask Your Potential Lawyer
1. What’s your education and how long have you practiced law?
At a minimum, you want to know whether the lawyer is a novice or a veteran. For more important cases, you’ll want a lawyer with at least 10 years of experience.
2. Have you handled this type of case before?
Don’t settle for a yes or no. Ask them to expand on their general cases and how past cases have turned out.
3. Who’s your typical client?
This is an often overlooked question that you’ll be glad you asked. You may want to know the financial background of clients, so you can tell what you can afford and handle when compared to them.
4. What’s your track record with cases similar to mine?
Don’t be shy. Ask your potential lawyer whether your case is similar to anything they’ve handled in the past. You want to know if they’ll be able to support you and win your case. Some lawyers might even have their results posted online.
5. Have you ever been accused of, or sanctioned for, attorney misconduct?
You have a right to know about this. If they’ve violated or have been formally accused of violating the rules of professional responsibility, you’ll want to get an explanation of what happened.
6. What kind of special training or knowledge do you have that might apply to my situation?
For DUII and patent cases, you’ll want your lawyer to have some specialized training for effective representation. Ask if your case aligns with said specialized training, and ask if your potential lawyer is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
7. What are your attorney fees and costs and how are those billed?
You need to know whether you can afford their services. If someone else will be working on your case, ask about reduced costs.
8. What’s your approach to representing/winning a case?
If you’re looking for an amicable lawyer for a divorce case, you need to know whether your lawyers will be aggressive or peaceable.
9. What’s a challenge you’ve faced when working with a client, and how did you resolve it?
Interviewers everywhere use some version of this two-part question. This will give you a good look into how your lawyer handles different pressures and how creatively they solve them.
10. What’s the likely outcome of my case?
You’re looking for an honest answer here—not the “right” one. This will help you prepare for the road ahead as you go forward with your case.