Most people, at some point in their lives, will need to work with an attorney. Whether it’s to create a will, get out of hot water in the criminal justice system, or to solidify a business partnership, it’s nice to have someone in your corner.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you need a lawyer you can “click” with. That means the first attorney who pops up on your computer screen when you’re looking for help might not be the best fit for you or your case. But how do you find out whether you’re about to pick the right attorney?
Simple. Aside from the typical questions you’d ask (such as “How much do you charge, how will we communicate and how long have you been practicing law?”), there are three more that are worth asking.
Question 1: How much experience do you have with this type of case?
This isn’t to say that an attorney fresh out of law school can’t help you, or that someone who’s dealt with hundreds of cases like yours can. What you’re listening for isn’t a hard number, but an honest (and not vague) answer.
Question 2: Can you relate to my case?
Some cases resonate more than others with lawyers, and truth be told, it’s easier to fight on someone’s behalf when we can relate to what they’re going through. A lawyer who usually represents the best interests of big business might not be the best lawyer for you if you slipped and fell while grocery shopping.
Question 3: Is there any way I can solve this problem without a lawyer?
A good lawyer will tell you the truth, even if it means you won’t be working together. Some cases can be handled without a lawyer – and if it’s a possibility in yours, an honest attorney won’t have a problem saying so.