WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK ATTORNEYS BEFORE YOU HIRE ONE.
Wonder what questions to ask attorneys before hiring one? Here at Triton Legal PLC in Bay City, Michigan know hiring an attorney can be stressful. So we put together a list of things that you should ask and/or think about when going through this process.
How familiar are they with the area of law you would like to hire them for?
Are they promising you everything before seeing any documents or reading any police reports? If so, BEWARE! They are most likely interested in telling you what you want to hear rather than what they can realistically do for you.
Are they disparaging other attorneys in an attempt to get you to sign with them?
If the attorney you are interviewing with spends most of their time making fun of or discrediting other attorneys, instead of addressing the particular issues of your case, you should ask yourself if this attorney is actually concerned about your situation or not.
Do they employ fear in their sales pitch?
If they say things like ” if you don’t do this now, then you may be in trouble”? Scaring someone, who is already worried about the situation they are in, is a tactic some attorneys use to get your business by preying on your vulnerability.
Ask an attorney how many trials have they had and how successful have they been?
While the number of trials an attorney has had in the past is not an ultimate indicator of their overall skill level, it may be a factor in your case, especially if you anticipate it will go to a trial.
Do their fees sound reasonable? Do they seem concerned about you as a person, or do they seem more concerned about how quickly they can get you to sign up and how much money you can pay them upfront?
If your instincts tell you that the attorney you are interviewing with cares more about the compensation they will receive- run. Check out other attorneys who practice in the area you are seeking counsel for and compare and contrast the information, demeanor, and prices you have been quoted.
Do they have you sign a contract?
Some attorneys will verbally state they agree to do X Y and Z, but the contract does not mention all of those services. Read it carefully! Make sure you have a contract and all of the services are listed.
If seeking a firm that has both partners and associate attorneys, be sure you know exactly who you are hiring. If you sign up for one attorney, make sure it is they who are doing the work, and that they are not going to pawn you off on someone else.
For example, if you interview with a firm who has a notable partner who practices in the area you are seeking an attorney for, be sure the contract states that that attorney will be the one handling your case. Some firms will coax you into signing up with a partner, but will then send an associate to handle your case. So a question to ask attorneys is “Will you be handling my case directly? Or someone else on your team?”