Lawyers have specialties, the same as all professions, so when looking for a lawyer, you must find one who works in the specialty you need. It would not be possible to hire a defense attorney to supervise the sale of your home.
When you find yourself in need of an attorney, you must find an attorney who specializes in the area of the law that you require. Finding an attorney need not be difficult; however, if you have never had to hire their services, it can be a daunting experience.
We have detailed four areas to consider before hiring an attorney to ensure they are the right attorney for you.
The Reason You Need an Attorney
When deciding which law firm to contact, you should consider why you need an attorney. Suppose you need a lawyer to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement before marriage. In that case, it will be a very different company to an attorney representing you in a dispute with a neighbor.
If you need a specific lawyer, you can search for specifics, such as an IRS/tax fraud whistleblower attorney from Oberheiden P.C. However, if you do not know what type of attorney best suits your needs, it is best that you do some research to establish this.
You should type the details of your needs into a search engine to get advice regarding the type of attorney that will give you the best service. Having searched for this information, you will also find a list of attorneys you may wish to hire.
In most instances, you must hire an attorney within the same state as you. There are intricacies in law between states, and not all attorneys will be licensed to practice in other states.
To get the best service, you must give prospective attorneys all relevant information, without incriminating yourself, at the outset to ensure that they can accurately take your case.
How Soon Do You Need an Attorney
It is best to engage the services of an attorney as soon as you know you will need one. Leaving it until the last minute can lead to disappointment if the attorney you want to hire is unavailable for the period you need them.
Hiring an attorney at the last minute can limit the firms you can use, so if you need an attorney at short notice, it is best to be prepared that you may not get the firm you want.
Contacting the law firms you are interested in hiring to check their availability is an important early task and can often be completed online. Most law firms have a contact section on their website allowing you to submit your inquiry.
You can include limited details, including when you need the services, and the law firm will respond with their availability and estimate of the price. It is important to ensure you do not hire the first company offering short-notice law advice.
If you have a complex case, a trustworthy law firm will provide an accurate timeline of how long it will take to prepare for the necessary actions. Any law firm that claims it can do anything at any time should be carefully considered.
Unless you are hiring a major law firm with nearly unlimited resources for a complex case or have a small issue to deal with, time should be a factor for yourself and prospective law firms.
Your Price Range
The main consideration for some people is the cost of hiring an attorney, so deciding or knowing your price range before signing a contract is important. Depending on the type of help you need from an attorney, the price may not immediately be known, so you must know and communicate your budget.
Engaging an attorney to draw up a contract or document will have a fixed price, making it easy to decide if it is within your budget. However, pricing can be more complicated if you have a dispute with your employer, have become a whistleblower, or need a defense attorney.
In any of these instances, you will most likely be asked for a retainer, which is an amount to cover part of the work that will need to be done. You can negotiate or discuss costs in detail, arranging an hourly fee plus additional costs before signing the contract.
Some law firms will also take on work on a pro bono basis, meaning that there will be no costs for you as the client. There will be specific criteria for this, which will be agreed upon before you sign your contract with the law firm.
You must determine what you can afford if pro bono is unavailable before you seek an attorney. Knowing your budget will make determining if a law firm is within your price range easier.
It is unusual for law firms to set out their costs on their website; however, if you request quotes from several law firms, you can quickly filter through them in line with your budget if you know what you can afford.
How Long You Need an Attorney
The length of time that you will need an attorney will link into your price range; the longer you require their services, the more you will pay. Prospective attorneys will also ask you how long you will require their services to hire them.
Any attorney must know the details of the case they are signing up for before they take on the case. The prospective attorney will then be able to estimate how long it will take to complete the case and whether or not they have time to take it on.
You may think you know how long a case will take; however, the prospective attorneys you are considering will be best placed to estimate how long you will require their services.
When choosing the best attorney for your needs, there are personal considerations other than those we have listed above that you will need to consider. It is always important to fully discuss your needs before signing a contract to ensure you hire the right attorney for you.