16 Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer (BEFORE You Hire Them!)

Business handshake on grey backgroundHiring a lawyer is not as simple as opening up the phone book and pointing. No matter what kind of legal issue you’re dealing with—rental property, child custody, divorce, car accident, business issues—you want a lawyer who has experience in your area and can resolve your issue (efficiently). You can find the right lawyer by interviewing (either by phone or email) them and asking these questions:

  • How long have you practiced law?
  • Do you have experience handling my kind of case? How many other cases of this type have you handled?
  • Have you handled cases within the local court system?
  • In your experience, what outcomes could happen in my case?
  • Do you offer a free consultation? (If not, what is the cost of the initial visit?) What information should I bring to the consultation?
  • What is the cost of your services? Do I need to pay a retainer? Are there any expenses I need to cover as part of the cost?
  • Will anyone else from your firm be handling aspects of my case?
  • Do you offer alternatives other than going to court? (This can be especially true if you are going through a divorce. Ask if they offer these divorce alternatives.)
  • How will you communicate with me? When should I expect the next communication?
  • What do you need from me to proceed?

After you ask these questions, make sure you are clear about what the next step is and any financial arrangements that need to be made. Prepare for your initial consultation with your lawyer with these tips, and understand that your lawyer cannot see into the future. However, vetting lawyers and choosing the right lawyer with the right experience can make the future (at least your legal future) better.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

50+ Reasons You May Need a Lawyer

Close-up of a contract that you hired a lawyer to draft“Do I need a lawyer for this?” is one of the most common questions we hear—and a good one, because often it’s wise to consult a lawyer both before (so you don’t need them later) and after you need it. Hiring a lawyer can be a preventative measure, such as when you are estate planning or need a solid contract drafted for your company that protects you from almost any legal action.  Those are just two of the many reasons to consult a lawyer; we’ve listed a few of the many situations where consulting a lawyer is wise.

  1. Estate planning
  2. Drafting a will (or trust or power or attorney or…)
  3. You want to update your will
  4. Transitioning your business to family
  5. Transitioning your business to non-related partners
  6. You want to name a guardian for your children
  7. Appealing a large health insurance claim
  8. You have a lot of medical bills from a car or motorcycle accident
  9. You need to know your rights as a landlord
  10. You’re a landlord and you need a rental agreement in line with local regulations
  11. You need to evict a tenant legally
  12. You need legal assistance to get your security deposit back from your landlord
  13. You’re starting a new business
  14. You run a business (with sound legal contracts)
  15. You feel a contract has been broken
  16. You want to dissolve a business
  17. You want to buy a business
  18. You’re considering declaring bankruptcy
  19. Someone owes you a significant sum of money
  20. You’ve been arrested
  21. You need assistance with Medicaid/Medical Assistance/Title IXX planning
  22. Your family member is entering a long-term care facility or nursing home
  23. You need an annulment
  24. You are legally separating
  25. You want a divorce
  26. You have been served with divorce papers
  27. You need assistance with a child custody issue
  28. You are contesting child support
  29. You want to apply for child support
  30. You don’t feel your parent or family member is being cared for
  31. Your parent or family member’s assets are not being used as they directed
  32. Your parent or family member has died without a will
  33. You want to contest a will
  34. You are an executor of a will
  35. You are being sued
  36. You don’t want to be sued
  37. Your workers compensation claim was denied
  38. You want to be declared a guardian
  39. Your driver’s license could be taken away, suspended, or revoked
  40. You want to buy a home or property
  41. You have been hurt by a defective product
  42. You need guidance with establishing or altering bylaws of a non-profit
  43. You want to buy a farm
  44. You want to sell a farm
  45. You want to set or alter visitation rights
  46. You want to terminate someone’s parental rights
  47. You have been charged with Driving Under Intoxication (DUI)
  48. You have a ticket and want to try to keep your commercial driving license
  49. You got a traffic ticket and want to resolve the matter
  50. You need assistance with a commercial lease
  51. You are leasing farmland
  52. You…there are numerous reasons to consult an attorney, and most lawyers offer a free consultation. If you feel you need a lawyer, don’t hesitate to call and ask questions—even if you think you may need legal assistance.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.