• Estate Planning

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

1. What areas of law do you practice?

Does the attorney limit their practice to one or two areas, or do they take the “Jack of all trades” approach? There are many different areas of law; if an attorney practices a little bit of everything, does he or she have the depth of knowledge necessary for your case?

2. How many open cases do you typically have at one time?

It is not uncommon for attorneys to have dozens of cases open at one time. Do you want to get lost in the crowd, or do you want personal attention from the person handling your legal matter?

3. Who will be working on my case?

Will the attorney you hire be the one doing all of the work, or will your case be farmed out to another attorney or a legal assistant? If you have any questions about your case, who will be able to answer them?

4. How will I be kept informed of my case?

If I were to call or e-mail you, how long would it generally take until I received a response? What if I have an emergency? Lack of communication is one of the most common complaints about attorneys. Your case is important to you; you should be kept informed of the status and have your messages returned promptly.

5. What are your fees?

What will I be charged for? How will I be billed? Before hiring an attorney it is important to understand the fees involved. Get a written agreement and understand what you will be charged for. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are being nickel and dimed.

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