When it comes to legal issues, the decisions you make are often extremely important, and they can have far-reaching effects on your life or your business’s future. The decision to hire an attorney is not one that should be taken lightly, and mistakes when hiring an attorney can end up costing you a lot of money in the long run if you’re not careful. The following nine mistakes are common ones to avoid when hiring an attorney, along with some tips for making sure you don’t do any of them!
1) Not interviewing enough candidates
It’s easy for law firms or hiring managers to get overconfident in their search and hire a candidate without properly vetting all of their qualifications. When hiring a lawyer, it’s important that you don’t rush and make an important decision you may later regret.
Read through resumes and interview several candidates before making your decision. Asking hard questions is an easy way to find out whether or not a lawyer is right for your company.
2) Not gathering all the facts before hiring
Before you hire an attorney, gather all your facts. You’ll want to know exactly what your case entails so that you can make a truly informed decision about whether or not an attorney is right for you. Make sure you have gathered any available evidence and have a clear understanding of what damages, if any, are at stake in your case.
3) Not reviewing resumes properly
When you’re hiring a lawyer, it’s important that you are thorough when reviewing resumes. Make sure that you read each and every resume carefully; after all, even little mistakes can be costly later on. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or ask candidates for interviews.
4) Choosing an attorney based on price
It’s always tempting to pick a low-cost legal services provider, but it’s critical that you avoid hiring an attorney based solely on price. Attorneys who charge less than average generally don’t offer nearly as much service or experience as their higher-priced peers. So if you go with a cheaper attorney, you’ll almost certainly be overpaying in time and aggravation.
5) Not asking questions during interviews
If you’re not getting your questions answered during your initial interviews, it might be time to move on. The more information you get about a potential attorney before signing up, especially regarding what they specialize in and how their practice is structured, will give you a good idea of whether or not they are right for you.
You should never sign a contract without understanding what you’re paying for. If an attorney isn’t willing to answer any questions at all, think twice before choosing them.
6) Lacking a detailed list of legal needs
If you’re not very familiar with what your legal situation entails, it’s important that you make sure a prospective attorney has a detailed list of your needs. Not doing so could lead to not knowing how things are being handled until they spiral out of control and become more complicated than they need to be.
7) Waiting too long to fire the attorney if you are unhappy with their performance or results
Clients often have unrealistic expectations when they are unhappy with their attorney’s performance or results, and they wait too long before firing them. Your case will likely be more difficult than you expect it to be, and firing an attorney who is not working out is not a failure—it’s an investment in your legal success. If your attorney is not delivering results that you feel they should—or if you simply don’t like how your case is progressing—fire them immediately.
8) Ignoring personal feelings about your attorney
If you don’t feel comfortable or feel as if your attorney isn’t listening to you, chances are, you won’t get great results. Finding an attorney that treats clients with respect and has a system for understanding their needs can make a huge difference in your case. So if things aren’t feeling right after meeting with an attorney, don’t be afraid to move on and find someone else who is better suited for you.
9) Neglecting your duties as client
When you hire an attorney, it is your duty as a client to allow that person/firm to do his or her job. You cannot be involved in every step of every process. That being said, you should always understand what is happening with your case, and why. In order for attorneys and law firms to maintain a positive relationship with their clients, they need to have an open line of communication.