How to Know If You Are Getting Top Quality Legal Representation

Whether you’re paying top dollar for a lawyer or receiving pro bono assistance, you want to know you’ve got a competent attorney who is doing the best possible job on your behalf. How do you know you’re getting top-quality legal representation?

This low-cost legal guide will help you evaluate potential attorneys before hiring one as well as decide if the attorney on your case is doing a good job.

Before you Hire an Attorney or Agree to One

If you’re hiring a lawyer or seeking pro bono legal aid, it makes sense to do some checking. First, find out about the attorney’s reputation. Are they known for competency and success?  Do they have a reputation for being supportive of their clients? Are they easy to reach? Do they return calls? Above all, do they get the job done?

Secondly, and just as importantly, find out if the attorney has experience in the area in which you need help. For example, an attorney who does a great job handling divorce may not be a good DUI or personal injury lawyer. Many attorneys are now specialists in the same way most physicians are now specialists. They have in-depth knowledge and expertise in one branch of the law. Make sure you retain an attorney with expertise in the field you need help with.

Finally, before finalizing the relationship, ask the prospective attorney what you can expect as the case goes forward. How long will the case take to be resolved? What are the payment arrangements? What is the expected outcome? Knowing the answers to these questions can give you the confidence to hire the attorney or look elsewhere.

Once the Attorney is Working for You

Keep tabs on your attorney once he or she has begun to work.  It is reasonable to expect at least a weekly phone consultation to update you on the progress of the case. Is the attorney filing necessary paperwork? If there are deadlines, are they being met? Are necessary meetings being scheduled with others who are involved in the case?  Your attorney should work just as hard for you whether you’re a wealthy client or someone who is relying on them for low-cost legal help.

If you have concerns about the performance of your attorney, ask for a face-to-face meeting to discuss them. Make clear your expectations, and if the attorney cannot meet them you may want to find a new attorney.

When you do your homework ahead of time and keep tabs on progress during the case, you’ll likely end up with quality legal representation.