and perhaps most important, quality is that you should feel comfortable in your
counselor's presence. A comfortable and open relationship will allow you to
share relevant information to your case openly, honestly, and completely. After
all, a lawyer can't fully assist you without knowing all of the pertinent
absolutely important characteristic of a good attorney is a clear, honest, and
appropriate fee structure. For one, you'll want to make sure that the price of
the attorney is worth the case. Smaller disputes generally don't warrant hiring
the most expensive counsel. In addition, you should ask your attorney if they
bill by the hour or if a flat fee arrangement is an option. While some
attorneys might advertise a very low flat fee, you'll also want to inquire as
to any additional fees. The advertised price might not include court filing
fees, or even the cost of printing documents for your case.
even meet with the attorney, you should search for his or her name on the
Internet. Look for online reviews and other comments that may be online
regarding the attorney's services. You should also check with your state's bar
association website to see if any complaints, misconduct charges, or
malpractice accusations have been filed against the attorney.
also ask the attorney about her experience. Is this her first time handling
this type of legal matter? For smaller matters, that might be acceptable and
could even save you money. For larger disputes, you might consider a more
seasoned (and likely more expensive) attorney.
If this is
more than a short-term dispute, such as a contentious divorce, you'll need to
stay in contact with this attorney regularly over a few months, if not years.
What you want to avoid is the attorney that does not return phone calls or
emails in a timely manner. Though your case may be routine for him, it is very
important to you and should be treated as such.
One way to
test the firm's communication is to email them questions shortly after your
initial visit. Withhold a few questions from the consultation and follow up via
email. If it takes days to respond, the firm may just be too busy to handle
your matter. On the other hand, if you are impressed with their response time
and answers, you may have just found your attorney.