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Hiring A Lawyer

Having the opportunity to sit with old and new clients and meet business owners, employers, and employees who have been consulting lawyers for most of their professional lives, I have received ample opportunity to ask and understand what clients look for when hiring a lawyer. Below are answers to important questions: What factors do you consider when hiring a lawyer? How can you differentiate between a lawyer you would want to retain versus one you wouldn’t consult for legal advice?

What To Look For When Hiring A Lawyer

I would have thought people look for credentials, track records, or lawyers working at Big Law firms when getting their legal needs addressed. Instead, and almost always, the answer is the same. They want:

  • A lawyer who listens. Clients don’t want a bossy lawyer who treats them as if they are just another client. Clients should feel respected and understood, and lawyers should take time to explain details until they are fully understood.
  • Lawyers who are not dismissive. If lawyers are not carefully listening to your concerns, they risk displeasing the very people they are supposed to be helping.
  • A lawyer who respects instructions. A lawyer must respect clients’ instructions and refrain from pretentiously ordering clients to conduct their business in any certain fashion.

Hiring A Lawyer Who Understands

Lawyers provide legal advice. So when hiring a lawyer, look for one who advises and doesn’t command you to conduct a specific way. A lawyer needs to pay special attention to the clients’ body language and their stated and implied needs. For example, suppose a client rolls their eyes in discontent or seems like they don’t fully comprehend the legal advice. In that case, lawyers should repeat their advice using more straightforward language that is easier to understand. Putting clients’ minds at ease is probably the most important feeling clients want when concluding yan interaction with a lawyer.

Trust between a lawyer and client should never be compromised. Lawyers should ensure that clients are always content with services and treatment rendered. This allows for an open environment where clients can speak openly about issues without fear of not being heard or belittled. Trusting an open environment will enable clients to talk openly about concerns, which helps lawyers build a case comprehensively and address all the concerning issues without missing any potentially dangerous issue that could make or break your case.

A Client Should Feel Comfortable And Safe

When a client is comfortable with speaking their mind, lawyers can narrow down the issues and find the fundamental factors at play, making rendering the legal advice and services considerably stronger. Remember, all communication between a client and a lawyer is privileged information, which can not be repeated without your consent (with very few exceptions).

A lawyer’s office is a safe space, and you should not hold back on speaking and understanding everything surrounding your case. The same applies if you don’t understand fee structures or payment arrangements. If you don’t know where every dollar goes, you may feel at a loss or as though the lawyer is not on your side.

Conclusion:

When hiring a lawyer, it is essential they listen, are attentive to your information and concerns, are transparent, and understand what is and isn’t being said. Lawyers should make you feel safe and comfortable to encourage open dialogue so you feel free to question or share anything you feel is important. You should be able to leave a meeting feeling like you haven’t missed any details and without having questions left to ask.

When hiring a lawyer, you are the boss.

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