There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking to hire an attorney. Too frequently, the biggest concern on a client’s mind is how much an attorney is going to cost. They interview too many lawyers looking for the one who wants the smallest retainer and the lowest hourly fee.
The question I normally ask people when they’re letting price dictate their decision making process is this: if you need a heart transplant, are you going to go with the board certified surgeon who tells you it’ll cost $100K or the recent med school grad who comes in at $50K?
It’s understandable that you might not want to hire someone who’s so expensive it’ll break your bank, but the old adage holds true: you get what you pay for.
Money Is Only One Factor
The next consideration after cost is experience. It’s really important to know whether the person you’re considering is adequately experienced to handle your case. This can be a bit of a challenge.
If you look at some attorney’s websites, you’ll find people who have been in business for only four years and claim to have dealt with millions of dollars of assets and thousands of cases. Some people are classified as “Super Lawyers.” Like anything else, some of these rating services may not be very accurate, and the attorney’s ratings could have been influenced by the amount they spend on advertising..
Not All Ratings Services Are Created Equal
In my opinion, many of these services are a scam. If you pay them money to advertise, then you get better ratings. It’s that simple.
Additionally the ratings tend to come from clients, and clients can often be the worst people to judge an attorney’s ability. I can do an excellent job in the court room, but, if the case goes against us, then the client is angry and my ratings plummet.
Martindale-Hubbell is an online ratings service that solicits ratings from attorneys and judges. These are the people who know and understand what makes for a good attorney. Remember, just because someone has a great website, does not mean that they’re a great lawyer. You have to do a little research.
Is it a Fit?
The last thing you need to consider when looking for an attorney is whether the person has the right personality for you. Some attorneys are extremely aggressive and will be happy to start additional fights on your behalf. Some lawyers are more laid back. Some want input from clients and some want their clients to stay quiet.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which attorney is the right fit in your particular situation. Do a little work beforehand and avoid problems down the line.
If you are considering hiring an attorney, call our office today to set up a free consultation.