how to choose a lawyerDoing some homework to find the right attorney for your needs is well worth your time and effort.

Usually, when you retain the services of an attorney, you want to be assured that you will be well represented. Certainly, you don’t want to change attorneys in mid-stream.

Attorneys all value their reputations. Their practice depends on referrals of satisfied clients.

So, it’s probably a good start to ask your friends, family and business associates for a personal recommendation.

With your referral list, in hand, make a few phone calls and ask for a one-time free consultation, which most attorneys will arrange.

During the consultation, you can ask the important questions.

Have a prepared list on hand with some of the following questions or points:.

Ask if the attorney is experienced with your particular needs or case.

Request a list of past and current clients.

Ask the attorney to specifically site some cases similar to yours. You’ll want to know the outcome of these cases, also.

Pay attention to what you heard when you made your initial phone call and what you see during your consultation.

Were you treated professionally during the phone call? Is the office well organized and pleasant?

Does the office staff appear professional?

Does the attorney present himself/herself in a professional and caring manner?

Did you seem rushed during the consultation, or did you feel comfortable talking about your needs?

If all this falls into place, be sure to discuss some pertinent business matters.

Is a retainer necessary or will your case be handled on a contingency basis?

What are the fees?

How will you be billed? How frequently?

What is the estimated cost of handling your case or specific need? Be sure this figure includes outside expenses.

And, finally, before making a final decision check to see if any complaints have been issued against them. You can check with your state bar association.