(Please understand that the answers to these questions are general in nature and may not cover every individual situation.)
Whether big or small, your legal issue can quickly place you at the center of a dark and lonely universe. Having the right lawyer at your side is the first step to getting your life back on track. To find the right lawyer, ask the right questions. Instinctually, our first question is, “how much do you charge?” While this is a valid question, it is not necessarily the one with which you want to lead. There are thousands of experienced attorneys, at varying hourly rates, which are capable of representing you and achieving the same legal outcome. Your ability to work efficiently with the right lawyer will save you far more money than going with the less expensive one. For example, you call two attorneys for help. The first quotes you $250.00 an hour and the second quotes $150.00 an hour. You get along better with the first lawyer, but you hire the second based on the price. As the case proceeds, you become frustrated with all of the time you feel you have to spend communicating with your lawyer to ensure the job is done right. At the end of the case, you are billed for ten hours of work. You pay $1,500.00. Had you selected the first attorney, with whom you were more suited to work, the same job would have been finished in four hours. You would have paid $1,000.00. Note that the legal outcome is the same in both cases. However, with the first attorney you saved money and had a positive experience achieving your goals. Spend a little time creating a good rapport with your lawyer. If you cannot form a good working relationship early on, it is time to move on. Once you have selected the right attorney, do what you can to work together. Be proactive; ask your lawyer what information or documents will be needed to represent you and how soon they are needed. Utilize your lawyer’s office system, including staff, to maximize both your time and bottom line. They can help you with most questions and relay concerns to your lawyer as required. It is always less expensive to navigate away from making costly mistakes rather than working to fix them after the fact. Effective communication with your lawyer not only gets the job done right, but it leads to a job well done.