Lawyers play a crucial part in the judiciary’s attempts towards achieving justice, fairness, and equality. The skills and knowledge that they are equipped with while in law school allows them to be able to identify various legal problems. After that, they can think of possible solutions to those problems. Therefore, when faced with a legal challenge, it remains integral for one to find the right lawyer who will be able to help them adequately.
The best way of ensuring that you acquire the services of a suitable lawyer is by engaging them in a series of questions before you hire their services. This process is also crucial as it will guide your decision on whether you need even to hire a lawyer in the first place. The good news is that some lawyers offer free consultation and lawyer hotline programs. This presents people with the perfect opportunity to set up a meeting and get to ask these critical questions. An additional advantage of this meeting is that it will help you to understand how they will go about the case, the fees involved, and their legal experience among other pertinent issues.
The following are some of the questions that you should consider asking your lawyer.
1. What type of legal cases does the lawyer mostly deal in?
It is essential to begin by knowing the area in which the lawyer devotes most of their time. Whereas a significant number of lawyers can handle many cases, it will be better to find one who specializes in the cases that are similar to yours.
This is because they might be in a better position of knowing the best way of addressing your situation. Consequently, you should consider finding a lawyer who generally handles matters such as the one you would like to present to them. For example, if you have a criminal case, a criminal lawyer might be a better pick compared to a lawyer who specializes in family law cases.
2. How many years of experience does the advocate have under his belt?
This remains to be a vital consideration that people make when they are looking to hire the services of a lawyer. Therefore, you should ask the lawyer about the number of years they have been practicing law.
However, you should not solely base your final decision based on a lawyer’s experience. This is because some beginners might deal with your case more efficiently compared to a veteran.
3. How many cases of that nature has he/she represented?
There is nothing wrong about asking an attorney whether they have already dealt with such cases in the past.
This gives you the chance to know whether the lawyer was able to represent such matters and if they ultimately won or lost.
4. What other training or qualification does the attorney have aside from the law degree?
Most people might not be aware that some areas of law, such as those involving patent rights, require that a lawyer should receive additional training before they can take up such cases.
Consequently, if you have a case that is unique, make sure you inquire about whether the attorney has gone through the specialized training required in that category.
5. What class of clients does the lawyer prefer to work with?
Before proceeding to find solutions for your case, make sure that you have asked the lawyer the kind of clients that he represents. It is important to note that some attorneys prefer to only work with corporations or specific Non-Governmental Organizations.
Such lawyers often turn down matters involving one individual. In addition, this question is important as the kind of clients that an attorney might not be providing free legal advice.
6. Is Alternative Dispute Resolution an option?
A significant number of lawyers know of alternative methods of solving the legal conflict. This might include processes such as negotiation, mediation or arbitration.
For this reason, consider asking the attorney if there could be an alternative way of solving this matter other than through litigation. The advantage of some of these alternative methods of resolving conflicts is that they might not be as demanding in terms of resources such as finances and time.
7. What are the estimated attorney’s fees and other miscellaneous costs that might be involved?
The services provided by lawyers are quite expensive. This especially in instances where the lawyer neither offers free consultation nor free legal advice.
While discussing this topic, it is essential to take it further by asking about the viable payment options. Furthermore, one needs to find out whether the lawyer will solely be responsible for the case or if they would delegate some of the work involved. If so, would they be open to reducing the number of fees that they will charge?
8. What approach will the advocate take while representing the case?
It is important to point out that lawyers apply different approaches in trying to represent their clients the best way that they can.
This is important as the approach adopted by your advocate might affect the relationship that you have with the other party. For instance, if you would like to keep a cordial relationship with the other party, it might be ideal for you to avoid those who use aggressive methods in representing their clients.
9. What direction is the matter likely going to take?
Before the advocate even proceeds to take up a matter, the chances are that he can be able to tell the possible outcomes.
One might be able to know if there is a likelihood of winning or losing the case. While asking the lawyer this question, it is important to request that they remain as honest as they can. The essence of figuring out this answer is that it will provide you an idea of how things are likely going to turn out in the end.
10. What are the preferred modes of communication?
Once you settle on choosing a specific lawyer, maintaining open and effective communication with them is vital. It is for this reason that you should request the lawyer to inform you about how frequently he will be communicating.
On top of that, it is also imperative to know the method of the communication that he would prefer to use during that period. Effective communication is the best way of ensuring that you do not skip any court date if any at all. Also, it allows you to be in the loop of what is happening thus preventing surprises.
It might also be a great idea to know if the lawyer has a legal hotline through which emergencies or urgent matters can be communicated to him.
Exploring the Different Types of Lawyers Before Looking For Their Service
There are different kinds of lawyers in the legal field. This can be attributed to the presence of different classifications of law. Some of the current categories of lawyers include;
An Auto Injury Lawyer
This kind of lawyer specializes in dealing with clients who have been injured physically due to the negligence of another entity. Auto injury cases involve car accidents which result in injuries. The acts that led to the injury could have been caused by an individual, a company or other entities.
Auto injury lawyers specifically deal with auto accident cases. It is essential for people to seek the services of an auto injury advocate as they can be able to help them identify the legal issue, the party or parties that need to be sued and the time within which the suit is supposed to be filed.
Ultimately, the lawyer who takes up such a case will try to see to it that his or her client adequately gets compensated for the injury that was resulted by accident.
A DUI/DWI Lawyer
People who drive under the influence or while intoxicated are charged with a criminal offense. This is because people who drive under the influence are not only a threat to themselves but also to other people who are around them.
However, a significant number of people still get charged with DUIs. It is at this point that one should consider acquiring the services of a DUI/DWI lawyer.
These kinds of criminal defense lawyers specialize in cases that involve people who have been charged with a DUI offense. Other than the law degree, these lawyers are required to be up-to-date with traffic regulations that govern such cases.
The importance of hiring a DUI lawyer is that they might be able to mitigate on behalf of their client so that they get a lesser sentence or a reduced fine. Also, they might successfully persuade the court to allow their clients to drive if their license had been suspended or revoked. Consequently, they have an important role to play.
Anyone who has a law degree and has been admitted to the bar can represent someone in bankruptcy cases. However, bankruptcy lawyers make for a better choice as they have what it takes to represent their client adequately.
This is because they are conversant with the Federal Bankruptcy Code. This enables them to be able to identify the type of bankruptcy that a client should file.
Various Chapters of the Bankruptcy Code give provisions for different forms of filing for bankruptcy. For instance, personal bankruptcy has been provided for in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
The importance of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is that they will use their knowledge and experience to try and lessen the adverse side effects of filing for bankruptcy.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers are those who have focused on providing legal services for people who get injuries as a result of someone else’s wrongful acts. Injuries, in this case, includes; car accidents, slipping and falling at institutions or a store or medical malpractices.
A personal injury lawyer might come in handy as they might be able to help the injured party to pinpoint the person(s) liable. From that, they might be able to file a civil suit and request the court to grant them with damages or compensation.
If they are awarded, the amount of money that the client gets can go into paying for their medical bill and compensating them for the financial losses that they might have incurred. At the same time, personal injury lawyers might be hired as the defense lawyer for the defendants.
Criminal Law Lawyer
Criminal law lawyers are advocates who specialize in defense of criminal charges that have brought against their clients. Besides having graduated with a law degree, it is also required that one should pass the bar examinations.
Also, criminal law lawyers are required to continue with studies in the criminal law field so that they can be aware of the developments that have taken place in criminal law regulations.
They are required to represent their clients to the best that they can but within the lawful means. By so doing, they research the case that is involved, they cross-examine the evidence brought before the court, and when necessary they come up with a defense for the accused person. Lastly, criminal law lawyers might try to reduce the sentence that their clients might be given.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
On-job injuries have increasingly become common over the years. Most workplaces have come up with the workers’ compensation policies.
These policies see to it that employees will get compensated for any injury that occurred while they were working irrespective of who was at fault. This is in an attempt of preventing civil actions from being brought against the employer.
Workers’ compensation lawyers are essential as they try to see to it that employees get to receive the compensation for the injury that they have suffered.
The compensation is supposed to cover lost wages, accrued medical bills and other additional costs if any. Lawyers who specialize in this area of law will ensure that an employee correctly files for the workers’ compensation and ultimately gets to receive what they are entitled to get.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors are expected to be extremely careful in their profession compared to the other professions. This is because they have a duty to care for someone’s life in the best way.
Consequently, when they are negligent in doing so, a medical malpractice suit might be brought against them. This can happen in instances such as where a doctor wrongfully diagnoses or operates a patient. Such patients are often encouraged to seek the help of medical malpractice advocates.
Medical malpractice lawyers can help such people to sue the doctor, and in some instances the hospital as well, for a breaching their duty of care.
In addition, these lawyers ensure that such patients file the suit within the period which is allowed by the law. The main aim of the civil suit that such a lawyer files is to get compensation for their client or their families. They will try to examine and collect relevant evidence that will back up their claim that there indeed was medical malpractice.
The examples above prove that there are various types of advocates. The questions that were discussed earlier are intended to guide one in choosing a specific type of lawyer who will represent them in the best way.