How to Hire an Attorney

  1. The best way to find an attorney is by word of mouth. Ask your friends if they know a good honest lawyer who handles cases like yours.
  2. Don't hire a lawyer unless you trust him. If you aren't comfortable with the first lawyer you speak to, move on to the next one. There are many excellent and reputable lawyers in this city.
  3. Never hire a lawyer that tells you or implies that he has some special influence with the judge or prosecutor. Those people aren't going to risk their jobs for you, or your attorney, even if they are best friends. Most of the litigators know all of the judges. The personal relationship between your lawyer and others usually isn't going to affect your case in any significant way.
  4. Your lawyer can't guarantee the outcome of a contested case, but he should be able to give you a general idea of what to expect including a worst and best case scenario.
  5. You deserve to know how much your case will cost, including the downpayment (retainer), payment details, and billing. You also should be told of any additional expenses prior to them being incurred or billed to you.
  6. Get it in writing! If your lawyer will not put his fees and employment contract in writing, find another lawyer.
  7. Demand that your lawyer be specific in describing his experience in handling cases like yours. Hire a different lawyer if you are not comfortable with the experience level of the attorney you speak with.
  8. Be realistic. Unless you are paying your lawyer an extremely large fee, don't expect him to be able to return all of your phone calls within half a day. A good lawyer will always be very busy and you should allow him 48 hours to return your calls.
  9. If you hire a trial lawyer, you have to understand that he will be in trial at times for several consecutive days. If you expect a return phone call, leave a day and night telephone number.
  10. Good lawyers are in high demand and they don't come cheap. If you want top notch services, you've got to expect to pay a fair fee.