Never hire the first lawyer you come across. There are so many out there that it can be tempting to select the first one you come in contact with. Take your time and consult with a few before you make your decision. You don't want to make the mistake of choosing the wrong one.
Do not hire a lawyer without doing some background research. Look their name up on the Internet and talk to friends or relatives who might know the lawyer you are interested in. It is always in your best interest to choose a lawyer with an excellent reputation and good ethics.
Do not pick a lawyer because you saw their ad on television or on a billboard. Many big firms that can afford this type of advertising use lawyers that are fresh out of school for most of their cases, but charge you for the experience held by its highest lawyers.
When you are hiring a lawyer, make sure that there is a discussion about the payment plan that you want to instill. Sometimes, you may not have all of the money upfront, so you will want to workout a monthly plan that suits you comfortably. Get this done ahead of time so you don't have to worry about it later.
Check for your lawyer's record to see the accomplishments that they have in their field and whether or not there are any issues in the past. The object is to get the best lawyer available in your budget, so do your research to find one that fits the bill. This choice can make a large difference in your life if you are facing a serious issue.
Know where a laywer's office location is when considering one. Someone located uptown is going to have higher rent and overhead than someone further out. Those costs are passed on to clients. Look for someone in a cheaper location who has figured out how to leverage the Internet to keep their costs low.
Do not choose a lawyer if you are feeling unsure about them. This is also true of their fee schedule. Do not sign over a blank retainer check. Ask for an estimate up front so that you can control the cost before it spirals out of control during your case.
Keep a paper trail. Document all conversations and meetings with your lawyer. Take note of all questions asked, as well as their answers and record all arrangements and discussions of fees and charges. Lawyers are only human and make mistakes. Give yourself a layer of protection with excessive record keeping.
You can still hire a lawyer without being rich. Apply the advice in this piece and you will be able to get a skilled attorney you can afford. Your wallet doesn't have to be completely depleted.