Dealing with lawyers can be a scary, somewhat intimidating experience for many people. The fact is, however, that by acquiring a little bit of education on the subject, you really can feel confident and knowledgeable the next time you need to seek legal advice. Keep reading to get the foundation you need to proceed.
Try to educate yourself on what you are dealing with. You should not be relying solely on the lawyer to plan and construct your case. Obviously, they will have more knowledge and experience dealing with your situation, but if you are prepared, you can work together as a team to get the win.
A good tip to remember if you’re going to be working with a lawyer in a criminal case is to be completely honest. By law, anything that you say to your lawyer has to remain confidential. Telling the truth will also give your lawyer the best shot at winning your case.
Keep a journal of all the contact that you have with the attorney. You should keep track of specifics such as date and time. Note topics discussed and money paid. Keep tabs on your legal bill. This will help you if there are any billing or other issues later.
Make sure you understand the costs associated with a particular lawyer ahead of time. Before you even begin the process of seeking someone out, you need to think about what you can afford. As you call different lawyers, discuss fees and the payment schedule. Do not be surprised later on!
Always be mindful of how well you are communicated with by your lawyer. If it takes days or even weeks to receive replies to phone calls or emails, then two possibilities exist. Either your lawyer does not consider you a priority, or they are overworked. Neither situation is good for you.
Once you have decided to hire a particular lawyer, make sure you receive a written retainer letter that specifically defines the scope of representation, the details of the services you are to receive and the applicable fee structure. By doing this, you will stand a much better chance of getting precisely what you bargained for and you will have useful documentation of the intended relationship should you need to pursue the lawyer in a malpractice action at some point.
If you want to save a lot of money and time, you should prepare as much as you can before even going to see a lawyer. The lawyer can give you a better estimate of their charges if they know what all is involved in your case. Your efficiency is the key to cutting costs in this case.
When meeting with a prospective attorney, ask him or her who you will primarily be talking to about your case. In some situations, lawyers give part of their caseload to a junior associate. If you feel you really connect with a certain attorney, suddenly finding out you will be working with another person may be quite upsetting. These feelings could be exacerbated if you don’t get along with the other person, too.
If you are going through a divorce, do not use the same lawyer that your estranged spouse is using. Many people use a familiar firm, but that is a big conflict of interest when it is the same one used by your ex. Look around and try to find someone comparable.
If you need a good lawyer for your business, use your network. You could ask your banker, partners, insurance agent or even your distributors if they know any good lawyers in the area. Do not hesitate to refer this lawyer to people you know if you have a good experience.
If you need a specialized lawyer, ask the lawyers you are considering about their specialized training. There are seminars and additional classes lawyers can take to learn more about a specific issue. For instance, lawyers who are qualified to help you with filing for bankruptcy should be members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
It is certainly the case for many individuals that communicating with lawyers is no simple task. The truth, however, is that if you spend a little time learning about what makes for a good lawyer and how you can deal effectively with those in the legal profession, you can build a mutually beneficial relationship. With any luck, you now have sufficient knowledge to move ahead comfortably.