Sometimes, getting in a sticky situation cannot be avoided. You will most likely need a lawyer at one point in your lifetime. It can be for preparing your defense once the bail bond agent pushes through. It can be to bring someone to justice. It can be for business. Or it can be for personal gain. What’s important is for you to learn how to choose the right lawyer as early as possible.
Looking for the right lawyer might be exhausting and time-consuming. You’ll never truly know if your lawyer is suitable for you until you meet in person. However, there are still ways to increase your chances of getting the right attorney immediately. With the help of these three biggest red flags that you should watch out for when choosing a lawyer, you’d be able to avoid the potential hassle and increase the probability of getting one compatible with you in the first go.
Red flag 1: Lack of communication
A lawyer’s job is to represent the client. That means knowing what you feel and where you stand at all times. That also means letting you know all that’s happening. If your lawyer gives you unclear updates or doesn’t give you updates at all, then maybe it’s time to get another one. Information will always be the key. If your lawyer cannot relay information properly to you, how can you expect them to relay your side properly to the jury?
Way to avoid this: Talking to candidates for your representation is a must before hiring them. Ask these questions during your first meeting.
- How many cases like this have you handled?
- How many times have you won?
- Do you think I can win this?
- Do you honestly think I am in the wrong?
You want them to answer honestly whether you’d like to hear it or not. If some of their answers are vague, then take that as a sign and move on to the next.
Pro-tip: Watch out for bold promises. Any lawyer worth their salt knows that they can never 100% guarantee what the outcome would be like.
Red flag 2: Negative reputation
It’s very simple. Negative reputations are often earned. And even if it’s caused by another party, that would still mean that there are too many complications that your lawyer must think about. You should be the priority.
It’s understandable for freelance lawyers and smaller firms to use various advertising tactics. But if you think it’s too much, then it probably is. Effective lawyers usually don’t have to stress about advertising themselves.
Ways to avoid this:
- Check their online presence. There are three highly probable reasons for a lawyer or a law firm to not have any online presence: They’re new, they’re too traditional, or they’re hiding something. All of those reasons aren’t good. So, it would be best to walk away.
- Check their performance records online. It might take time, but it’s very crucial if you want to vet them thoroughly. There are many ways to check their win-loss records before you ask them personally. Make sure you do so you can check if they would lie.
- Check their social media accounts and other digital footprints. It can help you assess their personality, personal stands, and surface-level compatibility with you.
- Check their relationship with their staff. The devil’s in the details. How they treat their employees might reflect how they see you. It’s easy to find lawyers who care about winning. But what you should look for are those who care about your well-being.
- Ask for references. If you can’t see their digital feedback, asking them for references is the next best step. How they prove their credibility would show you how they work. As they say, show, don’t tell.
Red Flag 3: Disorganized habits
This is one of the biggest red flags you have to watch out for. Your lawyer missing deadlines shows a lack of commitment, discipline, and care. Three things that you need your lawyer to have the most. If your lawyer seems distracted from your case, whether it’s personal or professional, it only shows that you are not the priority.
Ways to avoid this:
Establish regular schedules for your meetings and updates. This is the best way to check for consistency. Once they show tardiness three consecutive times, take that as a hint.
Check how they dress up. A big part of being a lawyer is the image they’d have to maintain. If your lawyer doesn’t seem to care about something as personal as his appearance, then who’s to say he would care about how the jury sees yours?
Check the office. Always make sure your first meeting is in the office. More often than not. An organized workspace means an organized mind. If the desk is swimming with disorganized paperwork, how can you trust that yours wouldn’t drown in the chaos?
Finding the most suitable lawyer might take some time. Remember that you don’t have to feel pressured to choose one right away. Know that there’s a big chance that you’d have to hire someone else. And never forget that this is a big decision. Whatever the case may be, this is your life on the line, and your life deserves all the time and preparation you could have.