Layers, like Doctors, typically specialize in a specific field of practice. There is a misconception out there (among some) that "a layer is a lawyer" and any layer can handle a whole host of legal work.
Hiring the "right" lawyer is a decision of the utmost importance—whether you were involved in an automobile accident, need contracts drawn-up, or you find yourself the target of a criminal investigation. It is always great to get referrals from your friends and family, but you must also ask some questions to make sure you hire the best lawyer for your particular situation.
Layers, like Doctors, typically specialize in a specific field of practice. There is a misconception out there (among some) that "a layer is a lawyer" and any layer can handle a whole host of legal work. This is not true at all. In any case, you want an attorney who not only specializes in your type of case but has also had a number of years of experience dealing with issues like the one you face.
Below are 3 questions you should be sure to ask your potential lawyer.
Have you handled this type of case before?
This first one is arguably the most important question to ask any lawyer you are considering hiring. Depending on the seriousness of your case, you do not want to hire someone with zero to very little experience in the type of issue you face.
You want to hire someone who has dealt with close to and preferably, exactly the type of case you have. Insist on any details they can share about previous, similar cases. Ask for dates, times, and case outcomes. Taking your time to do your due diligence could save you time and money in the long term.
Are you going to handle my case personally?
I am sure you are well aware that nine times of ten, your lawyer is part of a larger firm, and that they will certainly enlist other attorneys, associates and perhaps, even paralegals to work on your case. This is fine. However, you want to be sure that your new lawyer will still play a leading role in the handling of your case.
You want to be sure that ( if need be) they will be the ones showing up to court, filing briefs, meeting with opposing counsel, etc. This ensures that the bulk of your case does not end up being worked on by someone you are not familiar with.
How Long Do You Think This Case Will Take?
This may seem like a strange question to ask. I promise you this is a very important question, and the answer will make a huge difference in how you proceed with this particular lawyer or any other. Here is why you want to ask this one.
Your Attorney will bill you by the hour, so time will greatly impact what you end up spending on this case. Sure he or she cannot tell you with absolute certainty the length of the case, but if they have handled a case like yours before, then they should be able to provide an estimate time and cost of the legal work required.