Questions to Ask your Potential Solicitor Before Hiring
Solicitors will often provide low-cost or even free consultation to discuss your legal case with you. This is your opportunity to ask the solicitor some important questions in order to help you decide whether you should proceed with that particular lawyer or not. To hire the right solicitor for handling your legal case, here are some top questions you should be asking along the way.
How long has the solicitor been practicing law?
Your lawyer’s expertise and experience will be the deciding factors on whether you should hire him/her. Make sure you get detailed information about their background in law as ideally you will want someone who has many years of experience and can handle your legal case professionally.
Does/will the solicitor practice in the same courthouse as your case?
While hiring a lawyer with the right legal background is highly essential, it is also just as important that they have adequate experience with the judge who will be presiding over your case. Do they know the legal prosecutors in the courtroom where your case will be held? If so, this will greatly enhance your solicitor’s ability to assess the outcomes of your case.
What will the fees be?
Before you proceed with any lawyer, you must know exactly how much you will be charged. Some solicitors charge a fixed amount, while others charge by the hour. In some cases, they will represent you for a contingency fee where your solicitor will get paid one-third of the compensation you receive after you win your case in court. All in all, it is essential to discuss the expenses at the initial consultation even if the lawyer is unable to give you an exact quote.
Who else will be working on your case?
Most lawyers have a supporting team including investigators, secretaries, and paralegals to assist them. It is good to find out their names and roles in your case.
Are there any alternative ways to settle your legal case without going to court?
A professional legal representative should consider other means of resolving the legal case through out-of-court arrangement or arbitration. If your case can be handled through less costly and time consuming ways, then it is your potential solicitor’s responsibility to inform you about them.
What are my chances of winning the case?
Although the solicitor cannot foresee the outcome, they should still be honest enough to give you an idea so that you can prepare yourself for what lies ahead. For instance, if you are going through a bitter divorce, you will want to know in advance about what is expected of you so that there are no nasty surprises along the way.
How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
This is another difficult question as solicitors won’t be able to come up with a precise timetable; however, the most experienced ones will be able to at least give you a rough estimate.
With these questions in mind, your work is still not finished when it comes to hiring the right solicitor. You must ask to see copies of everything that relates to your case. In fact, getting too much information is better than not enough. If you are unsure about anything during your first consultation, don’t sign the contract until you have resolved all your concerns with the potential lawyer. Remember that once you sign the agreement, you will be bound by it so make sure you do your homework beforehand.