If you’re in a situation where you need to be represented by a lawyer (like cases of cancer after using talc, for example) you might not know the questions to ask. It can be difficult to determine who the right person to represent you is – but to work that out you need to get the necessary information. You might meet a variety of different lawyers and their answers to your questions will be extremely important. So, what are 5 questions you should always ask when choosing a lawyer?
If you were preparing for labour, you wouldn’t want a doctor with little experience. The same goes for a lawyer. Whilst being new to the field doesn’t necessarily mean being “bad”, lawyers who have worked in the field longer should have plenty of experience in their field and have seen cases like yours on many occasions. With at least several years behind them, they will have developed skills during their practise and this will make them better at what they do than those at an early stage in their career.
What is your success rate?
Whilst you won’t be able to find a chart with the exact wins and losses of a lawyer or a law firm, you can ask questions to determine how successful the lawyer is. You will be able to tell from the way they answer the question if they are an honest, trustworthy lawyer who puts their clients’ best interests first.
Have you seen other cases like mine?
Again, this comes down to experience. An experienced lawyer with plenty of clients will have seen a variety of different cases, and it’s unlikely that they won’t have dealt with one like yours. If a lawyer hasn’t seen a case like yours before, you will most likely be better off finding someone with more experience in that area.
How do you communicate with clients?
Communication is key in a lawyer-client relationship. You are relying on someone else to represent you, and that means ensuring that they have all the relevant information to create the best possible case. So, when choosing a lawyer, you need to know that they can communicate well and keep you in the loop. When you meet with lawyers, consider how they speak to you. Do they use unnecessarily complicated legal jargon? Are they avoiding your questions? If so, this lawyer may not be the best communicator, and it doesn’t bode well for your case.
What is the likely outcome for my case?
Whilst a lawyer won’t be able to give a clear-cut answer here, an experienced one will be able to give you some options – simply because they will have represented clients with similar cases. Consider how each lawyer answers your question here; they should never be unrealistic or tell you what you want to hear. A lawyer you trust will lay out the potential outcomes clearly and efficiently, and make sure you understand what could happen.