The legal services industry in the US is massive, with the market size valued at $329.7 billion in 2021. In an increasingly litigious society, that figure will only grow in the coming years.
Lawyers are a central part of the legal system, and it’s always advisable to hire one when facing a legal issue. An attorney can stand up for you and protect your rights during the legal process.
Thankfully, the number of US lawyers has been on the rise. Currently, there are about 443,558 US legal firms. For Wisconsin residents, there’s no shortage of Watertown attorneys to hire when in need of legal assistance.
Of course, not all Watertown lawyers are ideal for your situation. Most, however, will offer free or low-cost consultation during which you can determine their suitability for your specific needs.
Here are seven questions to ask during the consultation so you can make up an informed decision.
Will You Be the Attorney Handling My Case?
A legal issue is a highly sensitive and personal affair, so it helps to know that the professional you’re talking to will work with you from the beginning to the end.
You want to work with an attorney who’s readily available and accessible. Always ask whether your prospective lawyer will be handling your case themselves or if they’ll be assigning it to another team member.
If the former, that’s great. You don’t want to work with an attorney who’ll delegate your case to a junior lawyer or paralegal. However, if you’re dealing with legal issues outside of the attorney’s area of expertise, they may be forced to pass it along to someone else.
What Type of Cases Do You Typically Handle
The goal here is to determine whether the attorney’s area of expertise is relevant to your legal issue. If you’re seeking compensation for an injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you want to be sure you’re choosing a personal injury attorney.
If the law firm doesn’t typically represent clients with issues similar to yours, move on to someone who does.
How Long Have You Practiced?
Sure, every attorney starts somewhere. But when you’re facing a legal issue, you want to think twice before talking to Watertown lawyers with little experience.
Find out how many years the attorney has practiced law. More importantly, enquire how many clients they’ve represented in the past. What’s their success record?
For attorneys who have less experience, ask if they work with a senior partner that can answer their questions, should any arise.
Who’s Your Typical Legal Client?
The answer to this question can help you establish from the start whether the attorney you’re talking to can help with your legal issue. Some law firms only deal with corporations. You don’t want to spend more time interviewing such an attorney if you are an individual with a legal problem.
Some lawyers who represent individuals work with only high net-worth individuals. That’s not the attorney for you if you’re an unemployed college student seeking legal representation.
What Are Your Fees and Costs?
Lawsuits don’t come cheap, with the typical US household spending $3,300 on litigation costs in 2018.
Different attorneys charge differently for their attorneys, and you want to know from the start whether or not you can afford the lawyer you’re considering. While you want to have a competent lawyer to protect your rights as much as possible, the last thing you want is to go bankrupt or sink into debt while paying legal fees.
Once you’ve established that you can afford your prospective attorney, find out how they bill for their services. Generally, attorneys bill on an hourly, retainer, or contingency basis. Opt for a billing approach that works best for you.
What Is Your Philosophy for Winning a Case?
Attorneys adopt different approaches when representing their clients. You want to hire an attorney whose philosophy you’re comfortable with.
For instance, if you’re considering an uncontested divorce, you don’t want to hire a divorce lawyer who only believes in going for the kill. You want someone who can help settle the divorce in a manner that doesn’t involve the court drama you’re trying to avoid.
On the other hand, if you’re involved in a personal injury lawsuit with an insurance company that’s proving difficult to deal with, you want an aggressive attorney who’s not afraid to do battle in court.
How Will You Communicate With Me?
Top attorneys go out of their way to ensure that there’s smooth communication between them and their clients. Discovering that you can’t reach your attorney while in the middle of a tough legal issue can be distressing.
Inquire from your potential attorney how the two of you will stay in touch. Before you sign any papers, find out what to expect in terms of communication so you don’t get frustrated down the road.
Hire the Watertown Attorneys for You
Having the right lawyer by your side can make a world of difference when you’re facing a legal issue. Take the time to interview several Watertown attorneys to determine which of them has the skill level and experience to represent you best.
Are you interested in the best legal services in your area? Contact us today and learn how we can help.