Hiring a law firm: Questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line

Before making a decision, know what to ask before hiring a law firm.

Are you searching for an attorney or hiring a law firm? Whether you need an attorney immediately or want to have one on standby, hiring a law firm that will work best for you requires some thought. Print this list of questions, and take it with you to meetings with potential law firms. Also, visit our attorney referral service to find a law firm that offers a free session, giving you a chance to get all of your questions answered before hiring a law firm to have on call.


  1. What is your experience with this type of case? Ask for details about previous cases the attorney has handled to get a feel for their experience.


  1. Have you worked in the courthouse where my case will be tried? If so, the attorney is more likely to have dealt with the judges and prosecutors and should have a clearer idea of what could happen.


  1. Can I get references to satisfied clients so I can call them and find out what they thought of your services? If the attorney balks at providing references you can call, ask for testimonials to review. If these are also not available, be wary.


  1. How much will this cost me? When hiring a law firm, ask them about fees and expenses if you have a specific case you want to bring them. Find out whether the attorney will charge an hourly rate or a fixed rate. Ask about contingency fees involved in cases where you’re suing for money. Request information about expenses, too, such as for photocopies, filings, etc., as these can add up.


  1. Are you familiar with the court system in this area? Ask the attorney if she practices in the specific courthouse where your case will be conducted. An attorney who has experience with the judges or prosecutors who preside over your case can make it easier to determine the outcome.

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