In today’s landscape the access to information regarding attorneys is far reaching. In fact, most potential clients do significant internet research on attorneys before they ever make a phone call to schedule a consultation. While the online research is important, remember that you are about to retain an attorney, you are not selecting a new location to take a friend to dinner. This decision is arguably one of the more important decisions you will make and should be handled accordingly.
If you are researching hiring a lawyer something has happened or is about to happen in your life. At our firm we represent clients in domestic relations matters, criminal matters, bankruptcies and assist in estate planning. Maybe with the exception of our estate planning work, when you are looking to hire our firm it is during a tumultuous and incredibly stressful time in your life. From time to time I get consultations with potential clients and in the first few minutes I know that they are shopping for the attorney that will give them the best deal. They are not shopping for the attorney that will give them the best representation. While being budget minded is never a bad thing, please remember that you are not purchasing a piece of furniture, you are hiring an individual that will be guiding you through one of the most difficult periods of your life.
The process can be overwhelming at first. The long list of attorney advertisements are viewed by people throughout the entire day. From TV ads to radio ads, billboards, city buses and taxi cabs you are bombarded with attorneys promising to take care of you. Remember that hiring an attorney should be a deeply personal decision. Not all attorneys are suited for all types of clients. You want to select an attorney with a personality and work ethic that matches up to you. As crazy as it sounds the attorney’s fee should be at the bottom of your evaluation check list but unfortunately it is generally at the very top. The fee amount should be subordinate because the actual fee is insignificant if you analyze it with the results that you seek. For example, how many people shop for medical services for required medical care? Elective procedures, sure; however, for absolutely necessary medical procedures I doubt that cost would be your primary concern. You want to hire the doctor and/or surgeon that you trust to do the procedure properly not the person that quoted you the least expensive fee. Please keep this in mind when interviewing attorneys.
Remember that just because one attorney may appear to be more affordable it does not mean it is a good option, as they may have less experience, or they are unsure of the potential complexity of you case. Furthermore, sometimes the value option ends up costing you more in the long run because if the value option did not handle your case properly and you have to change attorneys during the process it will almost certainly require you to expend more funds that could have been saved if you had hired that attorney in the first place. Hire a qualified family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy or estate planning attorney today, you will be glad you did.
For more information regarding planning your legal issue you can contact the law office of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates.