Begin your legal consultation by asking a lawyer about his experience. If you feel confident that he is knowledgeable, find out what the options are for handling your legal issue. Be sure to ask a lawyer whom you consider hiring about her rates and fees, and also find out who else will be working on your case and what roles they will play.
If you are seeking legal assistance for a problem, one of the first things that you will want to ask a lawyer whom you are considering retaining is how much experience he has. When posing this question, make sure to differentiate between overall legal experience and the amount of work he has done on cases like yours.
You should ask a lawyer to explain all of your options. If you approach her and tell her what you want, she may feel that your decision is firm and may act accordingly to help you along that course. This could cause you to lose out on the opportunity to settle your issue more easily, quickly, or cheaply. If your legal issue involves criminal charges, ask a lawyer if there is anything that you can do ahead of your trial to gain favor with the court. For example, in some jurisdictions, individuals who are facing a first offense of drunk driving can enroll in alcohol treatment programs, and the courts will reduce their sentences.
It is important to get a full understanding of a lawyer's rates and fees. Depending on the type of case, you may be able to find a lawyer who will help you for a flat rate. There may be some services, however, that will incur additional charges. A possibility also exists that you could be charged an hourly rate. If this is the case, get an estimate of the number of hours that will be required.
Also make sure to ask a lawyer about his payment terms before getting too attached to the idea of retaining him. Some lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning that they will receive payment from the damages that are awarded to you at the conclusion of the case. There are some lawyers who may require a retaining fee and will demand the balance only at the end of the case. Some lawyers may require periodic payments throughout the course of the case.
If all of the terms seem favorable and you plan to retain a particular lawyer, take the time to find out who will work on your case. Do not take it for granted that the lawyer whom you are speaking with will be handling the matter alone, especially if she is part of a large firm. If you are told that others will be assisting with the matter, you should get information about those individuals, the roles that they will play, and the effect that their participation will have on the cost. Also find out who is the best person to contact when you need to discuss your case.