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