30 May 7 Questions to Ask Your New Divorce Lawyer
Every so often attorneys will provide a low-cost consultation in order to review the details of your case and afford you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. (Our initial consultations are free.) You can use this meeting not only to ask specific questions about your case but also ask the attorney questions about their level of service, credentials, knowledge of the subject matter, and fees. At the end of your consult, you should be able to decide whether or not you are comfortable with the attorney, and if you’d like to retain him or her to represent you. Once you’ve concluded that you’d like to move forward with this particular lawyer you can ask more in-depth questions regarding your case.
In general, you’re going to want to have a list of questions to ask your new counsel. Here are some great questions to start with.
What case types do you have the most experience in? What percentage of your cases are family law cases?
When someone is representing you, and you are relying on them to protect your rights, at the very least, you’ll want to be reassured that your potential lawyer has experience in your case type. Knowing that the attorney mostly handles cases similar to yours may make you feel more comfortable because they have experienced every angle of that category.
What type of clients do you generally represent?
This is actually an important question that is commonly overlooked. If you’re an individual with a particular legal issue, but the lawyer your meeting with only represents corporations, this is probably not the right fit for you. In addition, you may want to know the financial background of some of the attorney’s prior clients. Only because the attorney may be used to representing high-end clients so they may not be used to having to explain fees in as much detail as someone with a lower budget.
What are your costs and attorney fees? How do you bill your clients? Will you be managing my case in its entirety or will there be assistance from paralegals and legal assistants?
This is clearly a significant set of questions because you need to know if you can afford the attorney or not. How they expect to be paid is also important so that payment requirements are understood in the beginning. This will allow you to evaluate your circumstance and decide if you’re able to move forward with services. If a paralegal or legal assistant will be working on parts of your case, you can inquire about reduced cost.
What is your philosophy or approach when it comes to winning a case?
There are two reasons why asking this question is important. First, if you are looking to settle a case amicably like a divorce, for example, but your lawyer is known to go in for the kill in divorce cases, this lawyer is not the right fit for you. By the same token, if you’re seeking someone who is aggressive to handle your upcoming matter, then you’ll want someone who is not scared to push the envelope in the courtroom.
Is there another way to solve my legal issue?
Whenever you’re asking this question, you should keep in mind that a good and experienced attorney usually lets you know if your situation can be handled through less time-consuming and expensive means. Don’t be afraid to ask whether the possibility to solve your case through an out-of-court arrangement or arbitration exists.
How will I receive updates regarding my case?
Communication with your lawyer is crucial during the process of your case. You should ask your potential lawyer how often he or she will communicate with you and what forms of communication are available. Receiving updates about how everything is coming along is important so it is okay to ask how frequently you can expect to communicate with your attorney.
What is the possible outcome in my case?
Knowing if you have a good chance of winning is not an uncommon inquiry. You’re not looking for a definitive answer, but you are looking for an honest one. It’s normal to want to know what you may be facing expressly if it’s going to be an uphill battle.
The answers to your inquiries during a consultation will vary and remember that nothing is guaranteed. You’re really just looking to get general information about your potential lawyer’s experience and their skill level in order to decide if it’s a good fit for you.