What to Know Before Contacting a Lawyer


There are several reasons why you may need to hire a lawyer. You could be involved in an accident and need a lawyer to advocate for you and help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. It could also be a tricky situation like a nasty divorce, an inheritance dispute, or when you receive a letter from an attorney. And since the law is complicated and lawyers have proper legal training, hiring one when you need legal advice or representation is a no-brainer.

“Few things in life are more stressful than serious legal issues requiring immediate attention. When a person has a health issue that requires treatment, choosing a qualified and competent doctor is of the utmost importance. 

Similarly, when a person needs legal help, choosing a qualified and competent lawyer is essential. In fact, for any legal issue a person is burdened with, the choice of a lawyer is the first step to achieving the maximum recovery for any given case,” says a shooting victim lawyer from SteinLaw, a law firm based in Florida.

However, there are some things you need to know before contacting and they are discussed below.

Determine If You Need A Lawyer Or Not

Before contacting a lawyer, the first thing to do is to carefully define your problem. In many cases, it’s easy to know whether you need a lawyer or not. Someone that has been charged with a crime, going through a divorce, or served with a lawsuit definitely needs the help of an attorney. The same applies to people needing legal advice about business contracts and negotiations, adoption, will drafting, estate planning, etc.

However, there are situations where you can resolve your problem without a lawyer. Take for example someone that has a problem with a company. In most cases, the issue can be resolved by contacting the company’s customer care department. Sometimes, all you need to do is to get in touch with the customer protection department of your state attorney’s office. 

You’ll also need to determine the urgency of your situation. Certain cases like personal injury cases require immediate legal attention as delay may make it more difficult to get compensation.

Find The Right Type Of Lawyer

Chances are you already know that there are different types of lawyers. Some lawyers are specialized in family law, some in labor law, immigration law, civil law, property law, business law, property law, and so on. So, it’s impossible for a lawyer to specialize in every law area. As a result, anyone that needs legal advice/representation should identify the type of lawyer they need and reach out to them.

It’s also important to find a lawyer within your budget. Typically, lawyers charge a flat fee or on an hourly basis. Some law firms may not charge you until they’ve won your case but be sure to ask them what services to expect. 

Ask your lawyer about their current caseload. If they are handling too many cases or are currently overworked, they won’t be able to give their best on your case. This can negatively affect the outcome of your case.

Prepare All The Necessary Documents

Your lawyer will need information to understand your case. Before contacting a lawyer, take the time to prepare all documents pertaining to your case and make photocopies of them. You can also make digital copies of your documents as lawyers can request for either physical or electronic copies of key documents.

Don’t worry about providing too much or irrelevant information. The more information you can present to your attorney, the better. Let your attorney filter the most important information and formulate a plan. Write down any questions you may have about your case and ask your attorney to better understand your case and how best to approach it.

Experience Matters

While every legal case is unique on its own, you have a better chance of getting a favorable outcome in court if you hire a lawyer with the right experience. During the consultation with a lawyer or law firm, ask them about similar cases they have handled and the outcome of those cases.

Experienced lawyers have a robust understanding of the law and have sufficient trial experience under their belt. It takes determination and grit to see a case through, something experienced lawyers are too familiar with.

The location of the lawyer is another thing to consider as the law varies by state. Any lawyer you choose to represent you must be licensed to practice in your location. Usually, law firms list areas or states they are licensed to practice on their websites. Be sure to confirm that your attorney can represent you in your State.

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