Whether it be a divorce, a dispute over an inheritance, or a corporate lawsuit, many people find themselves in need of a lawyer at some point in their lives. Hiring a lawyer is not as simple as many people would believe. In most cases, finding a lawyer will take adequate preparation on the part of the potential client.
Finding a lawyer who specializes in the legal issue at hand is one of the first steps that should be taken before a person can get a lawyer. For example, some attorneys specialize in family law, such as divorces, adoption procedures, and prenuptial agreements. In most cases, a family law attorney would not be the best choice for someone looking for legal advice for their corporation. Learning about lawyers in a particular specialty is best accomplished through word-of-mouth; however, there are area legal associations that may also recommend quality lawyers who are skilled in a specific specialty.
Once a lawyer is chosen, it is best to find out how his or her fee schedule works. In most cases, this can be done during the initial consultations. Some lawyers charge a fee by the hour. Others set up a retainer where charges are deducted from a fund for a particular client. A retainer can be set up for monthly or for yearly charges, depending on the nature of the case.
One of the most affordable methods of payment is to pay by the project or case. For example, if a client needs a will drafted, she simply pays a set rate and receives her will. In other legal disputes, the lawyer may receive a percentage of the award, if the case is won. One method of payment may work better for a potential client than another method, so it is essential to find out all fee information as soon as the decision to get a lawyer has been made.
Many lawyers have busy case schedules. As a result, they may not accept every potential client that comes into their offices. Consequently, it is important to have a clear timeline and description of the case for the lawyer during the initial meeting. The facts and the nature of the dispute should be set out clearly to get a lawyer who may otherwise turn down a particular case.
It is always best to get a lawyer as soon as a legal dispute arises. Waiting can make the case more difficult. In addition, if a case becomes extremely complex, it will require more of the lawyer’s time. In most cases, more time on the part of the lawyer means more money paid by the client.