When hiring a lawyer, you are placed in a challenging position since you are at a power and knowledge disadvantage. The law offices are designed to project power and authority, the process is intimidating, and you are often made to wait. When you are finally granted an audience, you want to tell your story and are made to feel that you are taking up too much time. In addition, the knowledge gap makes it difficult to ask the right questions, and many people can feel intimidated and don’t ask questions.
That is not how it has to be. Once you know how the system works, you can take back control because, let’s face it, you are the customer, you are the one whose dollars are paying for the fancy office, so why shouldn’t you have some power and control. We want to help people feel more comfortable and in control when interviewing lawyers because who you hire is crucial to your success. Therefore, we have compiled a list of tips to help you take some control of the process.
4 Tips to Take Control
- In the post-covid world, you can interview lawyers on Zoom from the comfort of your house. With the introduction of remote work, Zoom has become the norm, and the majority of law firms can have consultations over zoom. The only requirement you will need for this consultation is to give them a copy of your ID, but that is about it. This way, you won’t have to sit in an intimidating office and decide quickly whether you like the lawyer you are consulting with. We recommend taking advantage of technology if you can.
- Use Google to search the lawyer’s record. Before consulting with any lawyer, we highly recommend you do a quick search of your prospective lawyer. This way, you can see all of the factors that might affect your decision to hire them. If you find something that concerns you, we still recommend taking the consultation because there may be a reasonable explanation as to why, so ask questions. We also recommend you search them on your Province’s Law Society website because they will have a record of their standing and will provide records of their disciplinary history. If you discover multiple complaints about letting files languish and being dismissed for inactivity, you might want to check that out before signing. Lastly, a great reflection of the lawyer and law firm is their Google Reviews. Google pays attention to reviews when it performs searches, and there is nowhere better in some cases to see how the lawyer treats her client than reading some reviews.
- Be prepared. The modern power of the Google search engine brings a new element to how to approach a consultation with a lawyer, and we recommend using it. You want to make sure you do preliminary research to be prepared and knowledgeable in your first interactions with potential counsel. This doesn’t mean we are suggesting you don’t need a lawyer, but this way, you can bridge the gap and come to the interview with some knowledge so the conversation can be more productive and so that you can tell your story better. Lawyers and doctors get upset sometimes if a client is using Google, we don’t. A good lawyer wants his client to be involved and to know the issues. Great lawyers work with their clients to be a better team and are not scared of clients with information. However, it is better to summarize your issues because no professional wants to hear a 60-minute rant. If possible, try to summarize your issues on one piece of paper, three paragraphs. If you can take the time to make a good summary of the essential points, a great lawyer will ask the right questions to get to the legal solution, and she will be very grateful for the work you did beforehand.
- Ask the Right Questions. You want to make sure that you are getting all the information you need to decide whether you should hire the lawyer you are consulting with. After doing all of that research on them and your case, you should be able to develop a list of questions for them to decide whether they are the best choice for you concretely. There are no right or wrong questions in this case, and the more there are, the better informed you will be to make the right decision.
You need to know the type of person you are hiring. After going through these tips, you should decide whether you can trust them to fight for you no matter what. Can you trust them to withstand the powerful tactics of an opponent trying to defeat him? Will they stand by you when things get tough, or are they a fairweather friend who wants easy cases and will crumble at adversity? You should know the answers to these questions if you prepare correctly and choose the right lawyer.
Remember, you are the client, you have the power, and your money pays for the lawyer’s fancy cars. You can break through the barriers made to make you feel at the mercy of your lawyer. Even if you have hired the wrong lawyer, most people do not know they can easily fire them and get a better one. Exercise your ability to get a second opinion if you are not being treated like an important customer.
Choose Millars Law when you cannot afford to lose. When you need a lawyer, you need peace of mind. This comes from knowing that someone skilled and trustworthy is on your side and defending your interests. If you or someone you know needs to speak to a lawyer, please feel free to reach out to us to book a consultation.