I want to hire a divorce attorney. I found a list (somewhere) of the top ten questions to ask when interviewing attorneys. There were some very important info that could make a huge difference regarding who I hire.
I am not aware of a "top ten" list of questions on a website to ask, but I would think the following is important, not necessarily in order of importance:
1. Find out their experience (how long practiced law and area of emphasis).
2. How many similar cased have they handled?
3. What is their hourly rate and the rate of any paralegals or other individuals in the office?
4. Do they require a retainer or advance fee deposit; and how much?
5. How do they envision you communicating (phone, email, letter or in person) and what is their turn around time on emails?
6. Do they met in evenings and on weekends, as well as during the work week?
7. To what extent will you be involved in providing input for pleadings and such?
8. How will decisions be made about the handling of your case, tactics and strategy?
9. Will they or someone else (an associate attorney) be handling your case (if they are in a firm)?
10. What reaction to they have to your case and requests (meaning initial gut reaction whether you can be successful or not)
Hope this helps.
I agree with Neal. Also, I have seen a few websites that gives a checklist of questions to ask, but it depends also on the area of law. I would add:
A. What are the likely results of my case? For example, in personal injury, we are often asked what the result will be. Be cautious of the "high baller" attorney who promises the sky. An experienced, successful attorney will perhaps give a broad range from similar past cases, but should reserve a prediction until his/her investigation is done.
B. Do I have a good case? For example, in a divorce, I get asked if someone has a good case. It depends on the area. If it's maintenance (aka "alimony") you are wondering about, the attorney should inquire more into the facts before giving a prediction, such as length of marriage, income comparison, lifestyle, etc...
C. Will my case, if your office takes it, go to trial? Here, ask the attorney about mediation versus trial. Ask the lawyer if he/she knows his/her percentage of cases that went to trial.
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