The law is pervasive throughout our lives. It effects the way we eat, interact with loved ones and how we work. Many people will need a lawyer for some reason at some point in their lives. Lawyers are specially trained in the art of analytics. Lawyers are trained to use a set of facts and apply an existing principal to those facts. Every year, thousands of students graduate from law school, so why is there still a shortage of lawyers. The truth is that most lawyers join already existing practices large and small, take government positions, or accept non-legal roles in society.
Most lawyers possess the ability to analyze the law but lack the experience or training to understand court procedure and how to investigate and develop facts to build or breakdown a case. This is a problem seen in not just new practitioners but seasoned lawyers without proper legal training.
The cost for legal representation is another strain on the ability to obtain legal services. Lawyers are often criticized for charging high fees for their knowledge and expertise. Hourly rates could range from $150.00 to $2,000.00 depending on geographic location, practice area, prestige of the lawyer or law firm and experience. More experienced or prestigious lawyers charge more for their time because they have higher demand in the market. Less expensive lawyers either are less experienced or have a higher capacity for cases.
The following questions are a guide to the person who can afford to hire a lawyer but cannot decide how to make a decision on a lawyer. These questions are general in nature and may spark additional questions to ask your prospective advocate.
1. What are my upfront Retainer Fees?
2. How many cases like these have you taken to trial in the past 3 years?
3. Have you ever been disciplined by the bar?
4. How quickly can I obtain a consultation with you?
5. Who is your support staff and what function do they serve?
6. Who will appear for me in court?
7. When was the last case you withdrew from and why?