It is important to select an attorney who can help with your the specific legal problem. Most lawyers practice in certain areas, and only take cases in their practice areas. An attorney who cannot help you may still be able to refer you to an attorney or law firm that does handle your type of legal matter. If you call a law office and learn they do not practice the type of law you need help with, ask them if they can recommend another firm.
The primary considerations in selecting an attorney should be whether you feel comfortable with the attorney and if you are confident that the attorney is competent in the particular field of expertise. The following questions should be helpful to most individuals in selecting an attorney:
- Has the attorney handled matters like this one before?
- Is there a charge for first-time consultation?
- How much does the attorney charge per hour, per task, or work on a contingent fee basis? How much are the fees?
- Will the attorney require a retainer payment before providing services?
- How many hours does the attorney believe it would take to complete the task?
- Does the attorney provide the client with a written contract or a letter confirming what the attorney will do employment? If so, ask to see an example. This is often called an engagement letter.
- Can the attorney explain to you what to expect and what issues will be generally involved in your case?
- Do you feel comfortable being open and honest with the attorney?
- Do you believe the attorney will be open and honest with you about your case?