What are Some Questions to Ask a Lawyer?
When you first sit down to consult with a lawyer, it may be difficult for you to think of questions you need answered. Many people are intimidated by lawyers the same way they are intimidated by doctors, dentists, or their mother-in-law. Here are a few key questions to ask at your first consultation.
According to this post at the website for The American Bar Association, the most important generic questions to ask a lawyer are —
- What is your experience in this area of legal practice?
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How long has your firm been practicing law?
- What kind of legal problems do you handle most often?
- Are most of your clients businesses or individuals?
The article goes on to suggest that you ask if there will be paralegals or other non-lawyer personnel working on your case. The article also suggests you ask as many questions about legal fees as you can think of, including how you are being charged (hourly, by the case, or by a percentage of winnings), how much the bill will be from start to finish, and any possible payment plans you can use to pay off your bill.
This blog post from AllBusiness.com has a long list of suggestions for good lawyer questions.
- How many cases like mine have you handled in the last year?
- How will you keep me informed of new developments?
- What is the possibility of a successful outcome?
- What are the chances of settling the case before trial?
Finally, here are some questions to ask a lawyer in the specific field of bankruptcy.
- Should I file for bankruptcy or do I have other options?
- Who will actually be handling my case?
- How much of your time is devoted to bankruptcy cases?
- How much do you charge for your bankruptcy services?
Sitting down for a consult with a lawyer can be expensive and nerve wracking. To make the most of your time and money, arrive prepared with questions you need answered. The lawyer will appreciate you saving his time, and you’ll appreciate getting the most bang for your buck.