When you’re facing criminal charges or even a divorce, it can make a world of difference to have a capable lawyer on your hands. However, the thought of having to hire a lawyer might make you hold onto your wallet a little tighter. The fact of the matter is, a good lawyer is likely to be more helpful in achieving the outcome you desire than if you go it alone. Here are three essential tips you need to understand when you hire a lawyer.
- Understand the Costs Involved
There are some circumstances where you might be able to receive legal services for free. In many cases, however, lawyers do charge a fee. Some will offer their services and not charge you anything unless you win or settle your case. It’s important that you understand the many different costs involved with hiring a lawyer. Retainer fees keep your lawyer available to you if you need him or her, but it does not necessarily pay them for the services they perform when needed. There are also generally consultation fees, which means you are charged money every time you meet and speak with your lawyer. If you wish to understand all of the fees involved for your lawyer of choice, just ask upfront. It’s better to clear the air now than deal with a surprising bill later.
2 Research Your Options
There are many different lawyers out there, and some tend to work in specific areas of law. You might hire a different attorney for a criminal case than you would for a child support case. Take the time to research the lawyers who practice in the area of law you need. Be sure to also get referrals from family members, websites, and even other attorneys if necessary.
3 Take Advantage of Free Consultations
Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. This means the first time you meet with him or her is free of charge to you. Once you narrow down your choice and find a lawyer you think you might like to hire, schedule a free consultation (if he or she offers them) to discuss your case. Don’t feel pressured to hire the lawyer then. Take your time to think about it before making your decision.
4 Choose Carefully
Keep in mind that good and ethical lawyers will not seek you out. Be wary of lawyers who show up in your hospital room after an injury or those who call you after an accident looking to represent you. You should be the one to find and hire your lawyer. You can get help from friends, family, or even your community if you need it. Think carefully over all of your options and choose the one you think will best help you with your case.