If you are ever in a situation where you need to meet with your lawyer, here is a list of ten questions you should prepare ahead of time. These questions will help you get more information and may provide helpful insight into the situation before starting to speak with your attorney.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
It is important to know how long your attorney has been a licensed attorney. If he or she has been in practice for years, they may have the experience you need and will be able to help explain the situation and what legal options may be available to you.
2. What Are Your Areas of Practice?
If your lawyer has a specific specialty within the legal field, it will be easier for them to know the type of case or matter involved. For example, suppose your lawyer specializes in family law or criminal law. In that case, he or she will have more experience in these fields than one who only specializes in real estate law. This information you check on yourlawyer.com to help ensure that your attorney’s advice is as accurate as possible.
3. Who is your typical client?
A field of law can have many different sub-categories, each with its own special set of issues. This can make it difficult to know exactly how your case or matter will be handled. For example, if your attorney primarily works with criminal defendants, they may not be familiar with a corporate business dispute’s special needs and requirements. Your attorney should be able to explain how he or she works with clients and what their typical client is like.
4. How many cases have you represented that were similar to mine?
While every case is different, some attorneys may have had experience with similar cases. For example, if you have been charged with a crime you are accused of, there are specific guidelines that your attorney would need to follow to handle the case effectively. If your attorney has handled a similar case in the past, they may be able to explain how they handled it and give you more insight into the process.
5. What Kind of Special Training or Knowledge do You Have Outside Your Law Degree?
Some areas of law require particular knowledge or experience to handle a case effectively. If this is the case for your situation, you will want to find an attorney who has those specific qualifications and can translate them into your case. For example, if you are starting a small business, an attorney may be able to assist you with forming a legal entity. However, if you need help negotiating an equipment lease agreement, finding an attorney specializing in contracts would be more beneficial.
6. What Are Your Fees, Payment Plan, and Costs?
If you are ever in a situation where you need help with legal issues, you will want to know what your attorney will charge for his or her services. While every person and situation is different, if your lawyer has a fee schedule or costs associated with their service, it will be easier for you to anticipate how much the process will cost.
If your fees are going to be a concern for you, your attorney should be able to help you understand how payments will work for your situation. Many attorneys operate under the assumption that their clients will pay the services cost upfront. However, if this is not an option for you, your attorney may be able to offer a payment plan or alternative fee system that better suits your needs.
7. How Would You Represent Me?
Your initial meeting with your lawyer will be the first time that you get a chance to explore the different options and legal solutions available to you. While you may want or need a particular outcome, the lawyer’s expertise will ultimately dictate how they go about handling your case. Do not be afraid to ask your attorney how they would approach each stage of your case and what role you should play during each step. In later meetings, they may also be able to explain any rules of evidence and how they will handle hearsay issues.
8. Are there other ways to solve my legal problem?
While your attorney may have a specific legal solution they recommend, other options or legal solutions may be available to you. If you can demonstrate a positive attitude and perhaps a willingness to compromise with your attorney, you may be able to reach a more beneficial agreement. The lawyer will know how best to approach the situation and can explain the pros and cons of each option.
9. How Will You Communicate with Me?
Depending on your situation, communicating with your attorney may be easy or difficult. Suppose you are currently in jail awaiting trial on charges you are accused of committing. In that case, there may be limited contact between you and your lawyer due to security restrictions imposed by the jail. If this is the case, you’ll want to ensure that your attorney is a person you can trust and feel comfortable communicating with.
If you need your lawyer to perform legal research or trial preparation, you’ll want to find an attorney who will make it as simple as possible. For example, suppose your case involves a landlord and tenant dispute. In that case, it may be helpful for you if your attorney can explain what information they need to represent your interests during their investigation properly.
10. What is the likely outcome in my case?
As your attorney is learning more about your case, they should have a better idea of the likely outcome in your situation. However, if you just got arrested and are facing criminal charges you are accused of, you may still be unsure what to expect in your case. Your attorney can explain how the prosecutors will approach the situation and their chances of winning the case. If this is the case for you, it can be helpful for you to know that it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what next steps would benefit your situation.
While you may feel overwhelmed by the need to find a lawyer, it’s important to remember that they are there to help you with your legal problem; you can check on yourlawyer.com for one. You should never feel afraid or uncomfortable discussing your legal situation with your attorney. If anything feels off or not right, you should ask your attorney questions and ensure that they will help you to the best of their ability. The more information you have about your attorney and the process, the more comfortable and prepared you will be when addressing your legal issues.