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Four things to look for when hiring a lawyer

You are feeling stressed, worried, and even anxious over recent criminal charges, divorce proceedings, a personal injury case, or something similar and now you have to choose an attorney. You might not know exactly what you’re looking for yet, so it’s important to go back to the basics. Look for these four things, and you’ll feel more secure in your decision.

1. A good lawyer has experience in types of cases like yours.

It is essential that they understand the system and have experience interpreting the laws that apply to your situation.  Do a Google or Bing search for lawyers in the area of law which your issue involves, and the geographical area, such as “DUI lawyer, Peoria, IL,” check out their websites and read any reviews from former clients of the law firm. That research will give you a better idea of their level of experience.

2. A good lawyer works within your budget at a rate that makes sense.

Ask if the attorney requires a fixed or hourly fee for payment. Make sure you address the possibility of a retainer fee to cover situations where the lawyer will have to pass up other cases to remain available for yours and any possible contingency fee to pay the lawyer a percentage of the money received in the settlement. Ask if the attorney will do you work on a flat fee, so you know exactly how much you will have to pay for the lawyer’s services. Make sure you know exactly what the flat fee covers and what it does not cover.  Any respectable representative will discuss fees, expenses, billing, and payment from the very beginning to avoid confusion.

3. Fees: Be wary of any attorney who quotes a fee significantly lower than most.

Chances are they will do a low level of work on your case and convince you to settle or plea too low and too soon.  So too, be wary of an attorney who charges a much higher fee than most.  Chances are you can find an equally skilled and respected attorney for a more reasonable fee.

4. A good lawyer must be diligent.

The right lawyer for your job should work diligently on your case. They should be prompt, pay attention to details, be punctual, and be able to inform you of approaching deadlines. Ask your prospective lawyer about these deadlines right away. Pay attention to how quickly they return your initial phone calls. A long wait could be an early warning sign.  When you go to court with your lawyer, make sure your lawyer informs you then about the next time you need to be in court and other things the attorneys is doing for you and which you need to do to help your attorney be fully prepared. Fully investigate the facts of your case and make sure you are fully informed of the process and your options each step of the way.

5. Bonus! The best lawyer for you will treat you with respect and give you a high level of their attention.

Ask them how you will be expected to participate in your court case. Find out how you will be informed of any developments. Are they listening to your whole story or cutting you off before you’re finished talking?  By this time in the conversation, you should have a feeling whether or not the attorney seems invested in getting the best result for you and whether he or she is asking detailed questions which are relevant to your case.  You should also get a feeling whether or not the chemistry is right for you.

Protect yourself or your business from the very start. By asking the right questions and getting to know your potential attorney, you will set the foundation for the best outcome possible. Let us prove we are the best advocates for you! Call our office at (309) 734-1001 or fill out the contact submission form to learn more.