Finding The Right Lawyer – A List of Questions

Are you considering hiring an attorney?  Whether it be divorce, custody, adoption or another legal matter, hiring an attorney can provide guidance through your life’s transitions.

The law office of Harden Jackson offers the following list of important questions to ask an attorney during your initial consultation.   These questions can help you choose the best attorney to handle your case. The best attorney isn’t the most expensive or the most experienced. The best attorney is someone who can handle your case in the manner in which you would like and obtain you a fair result at a fair price. It’s critical that you match the experience level and size of the firm your hire with the needs of your case. Know who you are hiring and why you are hiring them.  These questions can help you find that person.

Concerning general experience, ask these questions:

1. How many matrimonial cases have you handled?

2. What percentage of your cases are in my county?

3. What percentage of your cases go to trial?

4. How many of these cases involved _____________ [custody, support, business valuations, large financial settlements – whatever issue feels like your major concern]?

5. Are you experienced in ___________ [mediation, arbitration, collaborative divorce, or whatever style of divorce you hope to enter]?

6. Do you have the time to take on a new case now?

7. Do you know the attorney for my spouse?

Ask about day-to-day operations:

1. Who will be assisting you on my case? Can I meet them now?

2. What is the experience of the people assisting you?

3. What work would each member of the team do and what work would you do?

4. Who will attend settlement conferences, meetings, etc.?

5. Who will handle court appearances? What about a trial?

6. If I have questions, whom do I call?

7. What hours are you usually in the office?

8. Do you have any time-consuming trials coming up?

9. Will I get copies of all papers (letters, faxes, legal papers) in my case?

Make sure the fees are clear:

1. What are the billing rates for each team member?

2. Is your fee for trial different from your hourly rate?

3. Do you charge a retainer, and how much is it?

4. What happens when the retainer is used up?

5. Will you keep me informed each month as to how much of the retainer has been depleted?

6. What happens if I get behind on the bills?

7. Can you collect your fees from my spouse?

8. How much am I billed for copies of all relevant documents?

9. What extra fees or costs should I expect besides hourly charges?

10. Am I billed for telephone calls?

11. Do you have a minimum unit of time you bill me for?

12. What is the average fee for a case you handle from start to finish?

Ask these questions about handling the case:

1. What type of input will I have in decisions concerning strategy in my case?

2. How will I be kept informed of all developments?

3. What problems do you foresee arising in my case?

4. Based on your experience, how much do you think my case will cost?

Harden Jackson attorneys understand that each life journey is unique and that your situation is unlike any other. Therefore, our services are designed to provide expert guidance, tenacious advocacy, and effective solutions that ensure you can continue your journey with confidence that you have obtained the best outcome possible.

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