8 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer can tend to be a stressful process, especially if you have never had to deal with legal issues before. However, the process of selecting a lawyer to represent your interests can be a lot easier if you know what questions to ask. Find out all you need to know about which prospective Ottawa lawyer is right for you by posing these questions:
What is your area of specialization?
Each lawyer has a legal specialization. You want to find a lawyer who is a specialist regarding your legal concern. Just as you wouldn’t contact a plumber to fix an electric issue, a lawyer dedicated to corporate law is not your best choice in a personal injury case.
Who will be my contact person?
When you hire a lawyer, you want them to handle your case, not a junior associate or paralegal. Don’t be afraid to ask and make sure your lawyer has the time and availability to address your needs and be accessible should you have any questions.
How long have you been in practice?
You want a lawyer with experience, not someone fresh out of law school. You deserve a lawyer who has tread this path before and achieved successful results. Choose an Ottawa lawyer who has already honed their skills and built expertise in their legal area.
What is your track record with similar cases?
You should ask your prospective lawyer whether they have handled cases of a similar nature before, and inquire about the outcomes. You want a lawyer who has successfully resolved comparable cases to yours, whether through litigation or settlement.
What are my chances of success?
You don’t want a lawyer who will tell you what you want to hear just to get your business. While your prospective lawyer cannot guarantee any outcome, they can tell you whether you have a viable claim and which strategy is most likely to lead to a positive resolution.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
While your lawyer cannot guarantee a timeline, the right lawyer has the experience to make a ballpark estimate. This can help you assess how much time and money you will be investing to come to a successful resolution and determine the right strategy (settlement or litigation) for your needs.
How are fees calculated?
Economic concerns should absolutely be factored in when choosing a lawyer. An hourly billing model is not always to the benefit of the client, or the firm. Some clients and cases are better served by Ottawa lawyers with flexible and alternative billing models like flat rate or contingency fee based retainers. So, be sure to have an open and frank discussion with your lawyer on the various ways your case can be financed.
How will I be informed of developments in my case?
It is important that you are kept up-to-date on the status of your case. You can request updates by phone, email, or in person. Your lawyer is your legal representative, and you are entitled to know every detail of how they are representing your interests.
It is important that you make an informed decision before choosing an Ottawa lawyer to provide you with legal representation. With these eight questions, you should have a good idea about whether a given prospective lawyer is the right fit for you.