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11 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Lawyer

Mistake #1: Not choosing a lawyer who owns and manages his own firm. When you decide to buy a product or service from any business, don't you receive better treatment when you work with the owner? Why work with an employee lawyer when you can work with the founder and senior partner.

Mistake #2: Choosing a lawyer who works for a large law firm. In some cases, large law firms have advantages over small firms. But they often charge astronomical fees. If you like the large firm environment, ask the receptionist for a tour. But don't hire a big-firm lawyer.

Mistake #3: Choosing a lawyer because you like his advertising. Advertising can help you learn which lawyers offer bankruptcy services. But learning the lawyer's name is only the beginning. Before you hire an attorney, talk with the lawyer, ask questions, and make sure the lawyer is qualified and competent to handle your case.

Mistake #4: Choosing a lawyer because his office is close to your home. Convenience is a consideration when hiring a lawyer, but don't put too much importance on the location of the lawyer's office. In today's electronic age, nearly all paperwork can be handled by mail, fax or e-mail. It's far more important that you choose an experienced, qualified lawyer -- than to choose a lawyer because his office is down the street.

Mistake #5: Choosing a lawyer without talking to several first. You wouldn't buy a car without looking at least a few different models. You deserve to get the best lawyer for your needs, so don't settle on one too soon.

Mistake #6: Choosing a lawyer you don't like or don't trust. Nothing is more important than a lawyer/client relationship built on friendship and trust. If you don't like or trust a particular lawyer, don't hire him.

Mistake #7: Choosing a lawyer who provides second-rate service. When you hire a lawyer, you deserve excellent service. Don't accept anything less.

Mistake #8: Choosing a lawyer who doesn't return calls. Lawyers are well known for not returning phone calls. Make sure the lawyer you choose returns your calls promptly.

Mistake #9: Choosing a lawyer whose fees are unfair. If the fee is too low, the lawyer may only be doing on part of the job. If the fee is too high, the lawyer may be overcharging you.

Mistake #10: Choosing a lawyer who charges for phone consultations. The lawyer who puts your needs first will talk with you on the phone or in his office for free. If the lawyer insists on a consultation fee, look for another lawyer.

Mistake #11: Choosing a lawyer who really doesn't want to answer your questions. Your choice of an attorney is an important decision that could affect your life for years. Though oftentimes a lawyer will have to do research before he can give you a concrete answer, if you feel he's being deliberately evasive before you have hired him, find another lawyer.


DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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