7 Must-Know Tips for Hiring an Attorney for Your Case

When you find yourself faced with a legal issue, the steps you take next can literally impact the rest of your life. Hiring a legal professional – and doing it the right way – is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

Not sure how to hire an attorney for your case? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for ten must-know tips that will make hiring an attorney easy.

1. Ask for Recommendations

One of the best ways to find a good attorney is to ask people you trust for recommendations. Start with family and friends – ask if they’ve had a positive personal experience with an attorney in the area of specialty you’re looking for.

If you have a relationship with an attorney who works in a different specialty, he or she may also be able to give you a recommendation. For example, your business lawyer probably can’t help with a personal injury case, but he may be able to refer you to a great personal injury lawyer.

Use these recommendations to create a short list of three to five attorneys who you’ll investigate further before making a decision.

2. Do Online Research

Next, it’s time to hop online and start doing some research about each of the attorneys on your list. Check Google reviews and at least a couple of the lawyer review sites – like Lawyers.com and Justia.

It’s also a good idea to take a look through the lawyer’s website and their social media – including the reviews section. Remember that you can’t please everyone, so don’t put too much weight into one or two bad reviews, but if you start to see a pattern, consider crossing that lawyer off your list.

3. Schedule a Consultation

Once your research is done, narrow down your list to the top three, then call to schedule consultations. Most attorneys will meet with you for at least a brief consultation without charging you.

Pay attention to whether the person who answers the phone is polite and accommodating. When you arrive at the office, notice whether the location is convenient and whether you feel comfortable in the space.

4. Ask the Right Questions

When you sit down with the lawyer, it’s a good idea to have a list of questions prepared. This will ensure that you make good use of the time you have and that you don’t forget anything important.

Some of the questions you’ll want to ask include:

  • Do you specialize in cases like mine?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Do you feel that I have a strong case?
  • How much do you think my case is worth?
  • How often do you take cases to court vs. setting?
  • Who will be handling my case?
  • How and when will I need to pay?

Look for an attorney who is honest and upfront when answering your questions. Don’t be afraid to take notes, as you’ll want to compare the interviews with each of your top three options and remembering who said what could become a challenge.

5. Assess fees and Costs

You never want to hire an attorney based on cost alone, but, of course, price does matter. Ask the attorney to thoroughly explain their fees, and, if possible, to provide you with a written summary. Don’t feel like you’re “being cheap,” you deserve to know what you’re paying for and how much it’s going to cost you.

6. Review the Payment Arrangements

There are different ways that your attorney might bill you. Options include:

  • Contingency fee – the attorney receives a percentage of what you’re awarded if you win your case.
  • Flat fee – a set dollar amount for services. This is common for simple things like writing a will or filing a non-contested divorce.
  • Hourly rate – this is a set fee per hour. The final cost will depend on the number of hours worked.
  • Retainer – this is a fee you pay upfront. Lawyers often use this to pay expenses and fees associated with trying your case.

It’s important to understand how your attorney bills so you know when and how much you can expect to pay. If you don’t ask these questions, you could end up with an unpleasant surprise.

7. Listen to Your Gut

Once you’ve reviewed all of this information and met with each potential attorney, it’s time to evaluate your experience with each and make a final decision. You’ll use logic for most of this evaluation, but it’s also important to listen to your gut. If you have a really great feeling about one attorney that you met with – if you feel like you trust and believe in him or her – then this is a great indication that you’ve made the right choice.

The same goes for a negative feeling. Even if you can’ quite put your finger on it, if there’s something that just doesn’t seem quite right to you, then move on. There are thousands of lawyers out there, so it makes sense to keep looking until you find one that’s a good fit for you.

Hiring an Attorney is a Critical Decision

Follow these tips for hiring an attorney and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve made an excellent choice. If you need even more information, take a few minutes to scroll through some of our other helpful blog posts!

How do I find a good divorce attorney?

Question

My wife just informed me that she’s in love with someone else and wants a divorce. She already has a lawyer for herself. I’ve been getting names of possible attorneys from friends, but my friends often say things like, “This one will make sure your wife won’t get a penny.” Of course I’m angry, but I’m not sure I want this to turn into a heated battle. What qualities would you advise I look for in a divorce attorney?

Answer

A good attorney can change the course of your divorce. It can be the difference between feeling like you have an advocate to protect you, or feeling like you’re fighting a battle alone. Divorce is hard, but an experienced divorce lawyer can take on some of that burden and help you achieve your goals. Find out more about what to look for when choosing a divorce attorney.

What Type of Attorney do I Need?

When you’re getting a divorce, you’ll need an attorney who is experienced in family law matters. A old college friend who now practices medical malpractice law isn’t likely to be the best choice to handle your divorce. Different areas of the law have different rules and requirements. Attorneys in each practice area have different skill sets. Divorce can be a complex process and it’s essential to have an attorney who knows the nuances of family law and is familiar with your local court’s rules and judges.

Can My Spouse and I Share an Attorney?

The short answer is “no.” The professional rules of conduct governing lawyers prohibit attorneys from representing both spouses in a divorce. This would create a conflict of interest for the attorney, since your interests, rights, and needs in a divorce are adverse to your spouse’s. A single attorney can’t ethically give good legal advice to two people in adverse positions.

While some couples choose to use a single attorney to draw up divorce paperwork, that attorney legally only represents one of the spouses. If your spouse has hired an attorney to prepare paperwork or a settlement agreement, it’s important that you seek advice about your rights from a your own attorney before signing anything.

How Do I Know If an Attorney Is the Right fit?

You should interview any prospective attorney just as you would someone who was applying to work for you. You need to like your attorney. It’s also important that you have confidence in your lawyer’s abilities and respond well to communication style. Some lawyers pride themselves on an aggressive demeanor, while others highlight their ability to collaborate and settle most divorces without a drawn-out courtroom battle.

Your needs, your personality, and your spouse’s demeanor in the divorce will also affect the type of attorney best suited to your case. For example, if you and your spouse want to compromise and settle your divorce economically and quickly, you may want to avoid a “bulldog” type of attorney, meaning one that never gives in. Additionally, certain attorneys have collaborative law certifications and will commit to helping resolve your case rather than racking up legal fees.

What Resources Are Available?

If you’re unsure where to begin your search, you can start by reviewing Daily Whirl . Daily Whirl allows you to look for attorneys by practice area and provides a detailed profile with each attorney’s experience, philosophy, and expertise. Your local state bar is another resource for finding an attorney trained to handle divorces.

3 TIPS TO HIRING A GOOD DIVORCE ATTORNEY

divorce attorney

The outcome of divorce greatly depends on the attorney’s experience, areas of expertise, and personal values. Given that assets and custody of children are on the line, it is necessary to have a clear notion about the type of divorce attorney that will be able to deliver a resolution that conforms to your expectations and limitations

We recommend the following tips to properly choose a divorce attorney

UNDERSTAND YOUR NEEDS FROM A DIVORCE ATTORNEY

To hire a good divorce attorney, you need to know which divorce method is suitable for your case and what are your goals. Here is why: 

CHOOSING A DIVORCE METHOD 

The divorce method determines the development of each divorce case from start to end. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you need to choose between one of the following methods:

  • Mediation
  • Litigation
  • Collaborative or Cooperative Divorce

Basically, for a successful case you need to hire a divorce lawyer accordingly to the divorce method of your choice. We recommend to reach to a law firm, that counts with attorneys experienced on each method, to provide you with a mindful consultation about which method should you proceed with. 

MATCHING YOUR GOALS WITH THE RIGHT LAWYER

The goals define the complexity of the divorce case, and hence the kind of experience that you will need from a divorce lawyer. For example, wealthy people with a high number of assets tend to go through complex divorce procedures. This is because the lawyers need to have extensive financial experience to conduct a successful case. On another view, there are people whose goals, rather economically focused, are motivated by children’s custody or by having a quick divorce process; these tend to be less complicated cases. 

PROPERLY INTERVIEWING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY

At this point, you are probably wondering things like How do I find the best divorce attorney near me? How do I proceed? 

Firstly, avoid hiring the first lawyer that you meet. Before making any decision we recommend you interview from 2 to 4 lawyers. As exhausting as the interviewing process can be, consider that choosing the right lawyer will define your future. Look for a different perspective on each lawyer, see if they match your values if they have the best interest and if they are competent enough to handle your case.

TIPS TO INTERVIEW A DIVORCE ATTORNEY 

Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment when interviewing a divorce lawyer. To prevent this, bring a list of questions to help you make the best decision. Consider the following: 

  • What is your experience with family law? 
  • How many cases have you handled? 
  • In which divorce method do you have more experience? 
  • Do your matrimonial cases often go to trial? (Without trial the divorce process is quicker and it indicates good negotiation skills from a lawyer.)
  • Do you know my spouse or their attorney? 

FIGURING OUT YOUR DIVORCE BUDGET

Divorces are long procedures that require constant legal services. Before hiring, find an attorney to suit your necessities for a price you can afford in the long run. Ask your lawyer for an estimated budget, if possible ask them to include financial concerns like:

  • Their hourly billing rate
  • The fees for trial
  • A retainer charge
  • Are there any extra fees? (Like printing documents, postal services, court fees, etc.)

At Daily Whirl Law Firm we understand how divorce changes people’s lives. Our highly-qualified lawyers have you and your family member’s best interest in mind. We are here to help. 

5 Reasons To Hire A Family Law Attorney

Issues within the family can be stressful and strain the relationships between family members. There is a myriad of reasons to consult a family law attorney; among the most prominent are the complexities of the legal system, which is oftentimes difficult to navigate alone. Family law cases can pertain to child custody cases, divorce, and filing a restraining order. And it is often especially important to hire a child custody lawyer if you are a father, as 51% of custody cases award the mother as the primary parent.

Difficult To Navigate The Complex Legal System

The legal system can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who are not familiar with the legal lexicon. Furthermore, there are various deadlines that must be met before the statute of limitations expires and other important documents that must be filed with the courts. Hiring an experienced lawyer is also important because of their knowledge of past cases and their outcomes. As a result, lawyers can base your case on these parameters to achieve the best possible result.

The Other Party Has Representation

Hiring a family law attorney is also important when going to court, as the other party may have representation with copious amounts of legal knowledge to fall back on. Furthermore, the other party will be more prepared to go before the judge due to the legal counsel provided to them by the attorney.

Proper Documentation

When defending yourself in a court of law, it is critical to have all the proper legal documents and other evidence to support your case. These types of documentation and legal procedures could help decide the outcome of the case. Furthermore, a lawyer will know what you are entitled to, mitigating the need for you to argue your case in court.

Save Money on Legal Expenses

Although hiring a lawyer is a significant expense, it can be even more expensive if you choose to defend yourself. For example, if you end up losing your case, you may be paying more in alimony or other expenses to the opposing party. A family law attorney will be able to argue your case to get you the money that you deserve, while paying less money to the opposing party.

Relieves Stress

Family issues can be extremely stressful, as there are various circumstances to take care of at home, let alone worrying about adhering to deadlines and other dates. Therefore, hiring a family law attorney allows you to handle urgent issues at home, while your lawyer takes care of all the legal matters.

The Importance of a Family Law Attorney

If life were easy, every circumstance calm and every situation seamless there would be no need for lawyers. But things are not always that simple. You don’t have to have all the answers in life and you certainly don’t have to know all the legal ins and outs of your proceedings. That’s why finding the right attorney for your situation is incredibly important.

family law

What is family law?

Family law refers to legal matters that relate to adoption, alimony (spousal support), child custody and support, divorce, legal separation, and marriage. It is rare to escape this life without having at least one family law matter that you will need to be settled.

What does a family law attorney do?

Family law matters are not just about money. Finding an attorney from a family law firm is pivotal to receiving the best legal decision possible. Family attorneys are trained to help people who are dealing with legal issues that can be both emotional and financially impactful. A skilled family law attorney can do more for you than just argue your case in court, they can also negotiate fair settlements without even having to go to court.

When to hire a family law attorney?

Many think of family law issues like divorces and child custody battles, and while that is a large part of the caseload for a family law attorney that’s not the only time you can seek guidance from them. A family law attorney can help couples navigate prenuptial agreements and the combining of assets, not just divorce proceedings. If there is a chance you can avoid court with some legally fair and transparent negotiations having a good family law attorney on your side is crucial.

It’s not an easy job

While Hollywood may want you to see the life of attorneys as glamorous and lucrative, that is not always the case. Family law attorneys handle hard cases and even leave the court heartbroken with the outcome of some of their trials. The weight of responsibility on family law attorneys is huge when you think of all the repercussions that come from proceedings like child custody and divorces.

No one wants to think of their marriage dissolving or arguing for more time with their kids, but the reality is that occasionally you will find yourself in a legal proceeding involving your family; finding the right family law attorney can make all the difference in the world.

5 Things a Family Lawyer Can Do For You

Family Law Attorney

Family lawyers are legal professionals that specialize in matters to do with family law. They handle legal issues that are concerned with members of the family. Such legal issues include divorce, child custody, and guardianship among others. Family lawyers can act as mediators when family disagreements develop. They can also represent litigants in family conflicts that end up in courts. Below are some of the things that family lawyers can do.

1. Handling Divorce Issues

Undergoing a divorce is probably one of the most draining experiences that a family can face. Emotions may set in and make it impossible for a couple to settle it calmly. In such a case, a family law attorney can act as a mediator, and assist them to approach the issue rationally and within the law. In other words, a competent family law attorney can assist couples in the process of divorcing to settle the matter fairly without necessarily going to court. Consult Austin Lawyer Referral Service to refer you to a knowledgeable family lawyer.

2. Handling Estates and Wills

A will is a legal document through which people state how they would wish their property to be managed when they die. Family law attorneys are responsible for assisting people in drafting these documents. They also have what it takes to ensure that an estate is administered as stated by a deceased via the will.

3. Handling Child Custody Agreements

When a couple separates, one of the most difficult issues to handle has to be what happens to the children. Couples need to agree on how to take care of the children they have had together in the new arrangement. Child custody is defined by an agreement in which both parents have to live with the terms therein. A competent family lawyer can help parents that are parting ways to draft such an agreement. A family law attorney can also help parents in amending child custody agreements if need be.

4. Handling Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by a couple prior to a marriage or a civil union. Although the content of such a contract may vary from one case to another, its main aim is to spell out the provisions of spousal support and division of the property in the event of a breakup or a divorce. A family lawyer can assist a couple in drafting a prenuptial agreement and handling any matters that may arise from the contract according to the law.

5. Represent Litigants in Court

Although family attorneys can help people to settle family disputes outside court, some of these matters still end up in the courts. In such a case, family lawyers are best suited to help litigants get justice. These attorneys handle such cases almost every other day, and therefore, they have the necessary legal knowledge and practical experience to help litigants to navigate the complex jungles of family law and ensure that justice is served accordingly.

The Takeaway

Overall, it is apparent that the importance of family law attorneys cannot be overemphasized. They help members of families to rationally handle family disputes that would otherwise be crowded by emotions. These lawyers have knowledge and experience to help people settle issues relating to divorce, child custody, prenuptial agreement, and estate administration among other legal issues affecting families. Thus, if you are having a family legal matter that needs a rational approach, contact DAILY WHIRL LAW FIRM Referral Service for a qualified family law attorney.

COMMON SENSE RULES FOR LAWYERS

Many years ago as I began the practice of law, I realized how important it was for an attorney at law to be a positive example in the community in which he or she serves. No matter how many lawyers jokes people hear or re-tell, when their liberty is threatened they have no place to go except their attorney. When the Government decides that you are guilty of criminal activity and should be removed from society, all that stands between you and the loss of your freedom is the Constitution of the United States and your attorney. All states where lawyers are licensed have ethics rules which a lawyer must follow if he is to avoid sanctions and the possible loss of his law license. Click on the following links to see the lawyer ethics rules for VirginiaMaryland, and D.C.. These ethics rules are codified and are studied by prospective members of the bar. However, I felt that our firm needed short, simple, standards that we would follow in addition to those mandated by law. Here are those standards:

Common Sense Lives in the Law ⋆ Zavieh Law

TATE BYWATER: STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE

  • Always represent the best interests of our clients. Among other things, that means:
    1. Don’t worry about impressing opposing counsel.
    2. Don’t worry about impressing the judge.
    3. Don’t be pressured into a settlement that you don’t feel good about.
  • Always treat others, especially our clients, as you would want to be treated. Among other things, that means:
    1. Be kind and courteous to everyone, whether rich or poor.
    2. Never act out of anger or fear.
    3. Listen to what others have to say before opening your own mouth.
    4. Remember, our clients provide our living and send us most of our new business, so give them the respect they deserve.
  • Always be prepared.  Among other things, that means:
    1. Prepare every case properly before you go to court, and especially review the applicable law.
    2. Consider in advance the opposition point of view and all available responses.
    3. Never handle any case from the seat of your pants or off the cuff.  Be sure that you know exactly what you are doing.
  • Be an example in the community. Among other things, that means:
    1. Other people should respect you for the kind of person that you are.
    2. You should not be a drunkard.
    3. You should not curse.
    4. You should not advocate, condone, or practice immorality.
    5. You should try to advance the cause of justice whenever and wherever you can.

The standards set forth above are really just common sense rules of conduct for anyone whose profession is to represent the interests of others. If we are agents for someone else, we want to represent that person well and make a good impression for them in the community.

Doing the right thing and using common sense are not just rules for lawyers to follow. Everyone needs to understand that arrogance, lying, and unlawful behavior of any kind can and will get you in trouble. It is true that everyone sooner or later makes mistakes. Some of those mistakes will inevitably be serious. However, if we will use common sense based on a code of conduct such as the standards we do our best to follow at TATE BYWATER, the adverse consequences of our mistakes will not be nearly as severe.

Why Lawyers are so Important in Society

Why Lawyers are so Important in Society

Law school is one of the most complex schools to study. It takes a lot to be a good lawyer, put in long hours at work, be a good speaker, and have analytical and logical reasoning skills. Their skills are much needed for many reasons. If you have a business, are looking to adopt or file a divorce, if you have had an accident or have been accused of a crime, you will need a lawyer. These are only a few examples, and the reasons are endless. Lawyers and laws play a critical role in society, here’s why.

Why the Law Is Important

Gone are the days where every man has to fend for themselves and survival is for the fittest; we live in a more civilized world now. We live in a world with different societies and communities that would be in a state of conflict if it wasn’t for the law. The law is designed to serve the people in all matters. It is adaptable to the changes in society. The existence of law drives people to do the right thing and be good citizens. Because of this, in different ways, the law is there to protect people.

Lawyers Know the Laws

All the hours of studying and hard work have set the lawyers apart from the average citizen regarding knowledge of the law and its functions. As explained, you will mostly need a lawyer at some point in your life. A lawyer has years of experience to help you in various situations. Hiring a lawyer for your business to consult on legal matters is the way to stay on the right side of the law and avoid being sued. Filing for divorce or adoption, you will need to follow the right processes and know your duties and your rights — things they can help with.

Civil Cases

When you think of lawyers, you think of them defending people accused of crimes, but there are different types of lawyers. For example, civil lawyers cover issues not related to crime. A civil case starts with a dispute between two parties where one is asking for a form of compensation. A citizen can file a civil suit against another citizen, a business, a corporation, or even a government agent.

Types of civil cases include torts, like personal injury caused by any motor vehicle accident. Other types of torts include claiming wrongful deaths, workers’ compensation, or getting social security disability benefits. A personal injury lawyer will claim that their client was harmed by the other party and ask for compensation. Kentucky Lawyers Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer advise that the statute of limitations — the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit — is two years. This may vary from state to state. They add that it’s crucial to talk to a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible to make sure it’s not past the time limit to file suit.What You Need to Do When Being Accused of a Crime

Right to Counsel

We often hear the words ‘innocent until proven guilty, and they are essential to law. Because of the 6th amendment of the constitution, every citizen has the right to be represented by a lawyer, regardless of the crime they’re accused of. Every human being has a side to the story which needs to be heard, and that’s what they do. If someone is accused of something, a lawyer will assist them in telling their side and helping prove their innocence by bringing evidence and witnesses. Also, they help the defendants become aware of their rights and give them expectations of what will happen regarding their case.  If someone can’t afford a lawyer, they appoint a public defender.

lawyers council

Life Without Lawyers

To better assess the importance of lawyers, let’s imagine a world without them. First of all, without lawyers, all rules and laws are useless. You can’t defend yourself against accusations or against someone using the law to harm you. There would be no one that ensures all laws are applied.

If there are rules without lawyers, you have no choice but to defend yourself, but is it easy? Knowing basic laws is one thing, but having a deep understanding of the laws and using them to protect and defend yourself requires years of study and field experience. That’s why we need lawyers.

Lawyers are a fundamental component of society. Their role is to protect you when harmed and defend you when accused. Hiring a lawyer for a rainy day will save you a lot of trouble that could arise unexpectedly. You will feel more secure hiring a lawyer, knowing the law has your back.

5 Benefits of Face-to-Face Interaction

It’s easy to see how advancements in technology have streamlined communication for all businesses in the 21st century. From smartphones and social media to intranets and email, contacting others has never been easier. However, while technology has made communication more convenient, face-to-face interaction still has a prominent place at your law firm. There will always be situations and circumstances that warrant an in-person conversation as opposed to the standard message or email. Here are five benefits of face-to-face interaction and why they are important in your firm’s daily communication. 

BUILD PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Networking has become a frequently used buzzword in recent years. We’ve all heard the advice that building relationships with other professionals is essential for career growth. Despite the presence of social networking sites like LinkedIn, there’s no better way to foster professional relationships than old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Remember that strong relationships help build strong reputations and a strong reputation makes others more inclined to work with you for mutual growth.

If you get an email or call from a salesperson you do not know, chances are you won’t be receptive to the offer and may even ignore it altogether. An in-person sales pitch is harder to discount because it feels more authentic and personal. Networking is no different. Of course, you can still form a connection with a client or potential client online, but meeting someone and having a conversation is much more likely to help build a truly professional relationship. There’s no substitute for a handshake, and face-to-face interaction will allow you to showcase your personality and more easily read another’s a reaction and body language. 

5 Benefits of Face-to-Face Interaction - Ghidotti Communications

Face-to-face interaction isn’t just for developing relationships outside of your law firm. It can also be beneficial for improving internal communication and encouraging collaboration from everyone on your team. The business will no doubt improve when all of your lawyers are sharing ideas and working together. Our agency utilizes brainstorming sessions to generate plans for both our clients and ourselves. We get together in one room and discuss the various ideas that each of us has for the objective at hand. Without fail, talking about these plans in person leads to a better understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish and concrete solutions to get it done. 

ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND COLLABORATION

Sometimes, all it takes is hearing another person share their thoughts to get those creative juices flowing, build on it and establish a plan to put into action. Trying to develop these plans alone or even through the use of technology can be difficult. Encourage in-person teamwork or brainstorming sessions at your law firm and watch employee engagement and collaboration soar.  

ESTABLISH CLEAR AND CONCISE COMMUNICATION

According to DMR, the average office worker receives 121 emails each day. When sorting through that many messages, it’s safe to assume at least a handful of them could be misconstrued by the recipient. Enter face-to-face interaction. When a conversation is had in person, there’s less opportunity for a message to be misunderstood. Through the interpretation of body language and tone of voice, we are much more likely to understand the intent and remain on the same page than we are through the use of email or other electronic messaging. 

This can also be effective for constructive criticism. We can all remember a time in school when a teacher handed us a test or assignment that was covered in red marks. Without an explanation, this can be very discouraging and lead to increased frustration and potential confusion when working on future projects. It’s no different for your law firm. Rather than just listing out your corrections in a message to an attorney or other team member, sit down with them and talk through your feedback. Having an open discussion about what you are looking for will lead to a better understanding on their part without discouraging them. Chances are you’ll see more positive results on the next assignment. GENERATE QUALITY LEADS

Client research is where you gain valuable insight into who your target audience is and how to reach them. Our team is experienced in developing the right strategies to effectively reach your target audience. Schedule your free 1-hour consultation

EFFECTIVE USE OF TIME AND RESOURCES

For all of its convenience, technology still has its issues. A quick glance at your email inbox and you’ll likely find a thread of multiple messages between you and a client, particularly when it comes to scheduling or establishing plans. Oftentimes, a simple face-to-face interaction could have accomplished this goal in a fraction of the time. An in-person conversation allows you to get to the point quickly and establish plans, possibly even within just a few moments. 

Consider this practice the next time you need to collaborate with a fellow attorney or even with someone outside of your law firm. As we’ve already established, the sheer number of emails that the average person is receiving daily increases the likelihood that your message will be overlooked or potentially ignored. Sitting down with the recipient instead will accomplish your goal more quickly, saving time and energy for both parties. 

Why Face-to-Face Interaction and Communication are so Important -  brianthomas.me

APPROPRIATE DELIVERY OF PERSONAL MESSAGES

Regardless of the size of a law firm, everyone will be faced with situations that require delivering bad news to someone. From reprimanding a team member to severing a legal partnership, there are countless examples of these situations. While nobody likes to be the one delivering this news, it warrants a face-to-face interaction rather than a message. In the professional world, the recipient of bad news often deserves to hear it with grace and compassion. As hard as it may seem, it’s essential that you share bad news within a face-to-face interaction to maintain professionalism at your law firm. 

This practice should also be utilized when delivering the good news. A promotion, raise, or even just positive reinforcement for a job well done will prevail with face-to-face interaction. Let’s use Facebook and birthdays as an example. Sure, we all feel good when someone writes on our wall or sends us a message to wish us a happy birthday, but hearing it in person feels more authentic and generates a more positive response. The good news in law firms works the same way. The next time you want to congratulate someone at your office, do it in person and you’ll guarantee the recipient will experience a genuine reaction. We all love a good pat on the back.

The Secrets to Building a Good Relationship with Your Lawyer

Although most people don’t want to use lawyers, most will need one at some point. To improve your overall experience, follow these important rules for building a solid client-attorney relationship:

How to Create a Good Attorney-Client Relationship | Paul M. Graziano

Choose the Right Lawyer

No lawyer is thoroughly knowledgeable about every type of law. Think through what you need a lawyer to do and invest some time finding the right one to solve your problem, whether it’s European data privacy or collecting child support payments. By using the right lawyer, you will avoid paying someone to learn a new area of law on your dime. For example, if you need help with a commercial office lease, do not rely on an attorney who primarily does immigration law. You will regret it.

Lawyers in Utah are not allowed to say they are an “expert” in an area of law, so you may need to ask others for recommendations, research their profiles on their websites, or quiz a potential lawyer about their experience with the specific type of work you need to be done. Spend five to 10 minutes talking with the lawyer to see if there is rapport. If you do not feel comfortable talking with him or her, then move on to another prospect. A good relationship helps create good results.

Prepare Yourself

Don't Minimize The Importance Of Managing Your Side Of the Attorney-Client Relationship - ALPS Blog

Think about what you want your lawyer to accomplish. What are your goals? What would be the best result and what would be an acceptable result? What can you give up? What are your biggest concerns?

Gather up the details you would expect a lawyer to need, such as copies of contracts and notes about phone calls, names, and addresses. By helping your lawyer be efficient, you can lower your bill, set the performance standard higher, and most likely see a better end result.

Set Expectations

Whether starting a relationship with a new lawyer or resetting an existing relationship, work together to set agreed-upon expectations. How often do you expect an update? What method of communication do you prefer (phone, email, letters)? How quickly will calls or emails be returned?

To keep money issues at a minimum, find out the lawyer’s hourly rate at the start. Ask how often invoices are sent as well as payment terms and methods. Ask whether a retainer will be required and what is billed in addition to time (telephone calls, emails, postage, etc.). Inquire about an expected total fee
for your project, which will make it harder for the attorney to significantly exceed the estimate without a good reason. For some matters, you can ask for flat-fee billing. These may be uncomfortable questions, but asking upfront can avoid real discomfort when the invoices arrive.

Don’t Waste Time

Lawyers basically sell their time. To keep invoices in line, be concise with requests and avoid chitchat unless you expect to pay for the privilege. Avoid rambling emails and long phone calls repeating what you have already communicated. If you are concise and polite, you increase the chances of regular and effective communication within your budget.

Accept Advice, but Understand the Attorney Role

A lawyer has a duty to represent you as his client as well as a duty to the court system and various professional ethical rules. Your lawyer will have the right to decide how some legal procedures are carried out, but generally, the role is to advise you of legal risks and describe strategies or options to accomplish your goals within the law. Most lawyers will lay out choices, but expect you to make an informed decision based on your business goals, risk tolerance, the projected costs, and other factors important to you. Your lawyer will often make a recommendation, but will not make a decision for you because how you choose to balance the factors involved will determine whether you will consider the outcome a success.

At the same time, if you consistently ignore your attorney’s advice, it will undermine the relationship and the attorney may suggest you find a different lawyer better suited to your goals or temperament.

Pay Your Bill

Amenities Of The Attorney-Client Relationship, Part One - California Desert Trial Academy College of Law

Lawyers are often pressed for time. They fear running out of work, so they may take on more work than they can comfortably manage. Other things being equal, your lawyer will most likely choose to work on matters for clients who pay their bills on time. Abraham Lincoln recommended always collecting payment in advance so it was clear the lawyer knew he had a client and the client knew he had a lawyer. It is still good advice.

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