Five things to ask a lawyer before you hire them

In General

When hiring a lawyer, you want to know that they’re an expert who will do the best job possible when it comes to your case. But there are a few more questions you might want to ask before signing a contract.

1. How does your payment structure work? 

Whether they are a set fee, per hour or no-win-no-fee, you need to know how and when you’ll be charged, and whether it might increase. Knowing exactly what to expect and what services will cost you more means you can make an informed decision and there are no nasty surprises. 

2. Who will be handling my case? 

Depending on the type of legal professional and the size of the firm, it’s likely that the work will be shared amongst a few members of the team. This could involve paralegals and junior staff members as well as other lawyers who consult. What you really want to know is – who can I talk to when I want an update? You want to know who your personal contact is. 

3. How will you communicate with me? 

Communication can often be a sticking point – you may feel you’re not getting enough updates, but sometimes it just takes time for everything to go through. If your lawyer hasn’t got any news to give, you probably don’t want them wasting time! Talk to your lawyer about the expected levels of communication, what their approach is, and whether they’re likely to email or call. 

4. Do you have experience with this sort of case? 

If you’ve found your lawyer on The Law Superstore, then it’s likely they have lots of experience in that area, but if you do have any unexpected or unusual elements to your case, it’s worth asking. Similarly, if there are things you’re concerned about with your case, hearing from an experienced expert who’s seen it all before can really put your mind at ease. 

5. What is the process and timeline? 

Whether you’re getting a will drawn up, starting divorce proceedings or buying a property, you want your lawyer to be able to guide you through the process. They should be able to explain where to start, what you’ll need to do, and how long it might take. Understanding the steps of each process is important, and a legal professional who takes the time to explain and educate is one who will help guide you through. 
 

Choosing a lawyer for the first time can feel complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask questions, be honest and find someone who is skilled in the area you need, and understands your situation.