Factors to Consider When Hiring an Attorney

People only consider legal assistance when faced with severe matters like property disputes or personal injuries. And in such situations, the first ally is an attorney. However, hiring an attorney is a confusing affair with many law firms. You want the best lawyer by your side, but you aren’t sure how to gauge who that is. Do you decide based on fee or experience? Here are some factors to consider when hiring an attorney:

The Attorney’s Track Record

Whether you’re an individual or a business, you want to work with an attorney with a proven success track record. Knowing that your lawyer has a history of winning cases will give you peace of mind. The factors that determine an attorney’s success include:

  • Win/loss ratio
  • Ability to settle cases out of court
  • Experience in handling similar cases

The best way to gauge an attorney’s effectiveness is to ask for references or look up their cases online. Then, ask the attorney for a list of past clients or inquire about their experiences.

The Attorney’s Field of Expertise

When hiring an attorney, you want to ensure that their focus area is relevant to your case. For example, there’s no point in hiring a divorce lawyer to handle a DUI case. Similarly, if you’re a victim of asbestos poisoning, only mesothelioma lawyers will suffice.

Especially because mesothelioma lawyers understand the complex issues and nuanced details of this type of case, they can provide you with the best possible representation. They know how to gather evidence, build a strong case, and negotiate with opposing counsel to get you the most favorable outcome.


Each area of law is complex and constantly evolving, so you want to be sure that your attorney is up-to-date on the latest developments. The best way to gauge an attorney’s expertise is to ask about their educational background and professional experience.

The Attorney’s Availability

Your case might be complex and time-consuming, or it might be a simple matter that can be resolved quickly. In either case, your attorney must have the time to devote to your case.

Some attorneys are so busy that they delegate cases to junior associates. These associates might be capable lawyers, but they won’t have the same experience as the senior attorney. If you want the senior attorney on your case, confirm their availability before hiring. If there’s a contract, make sure that it states that the senior attorney will be handling your case. It’ll eliminate any surprises down the road.

The Attorney’s Fee

The legal industry is competitive, and that’s good news for you. It means that attorneys are willing to work for lower fees, especially if they’re confident in their abilities.

When interviewing potential attorneys, ask about their fee structure. Many attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win the case. Others might charge an hourly rate or a flat fee.

A few factors influence an attorney’s fee. These include the following:

  • The complexity of the case
  • Amount of money at stake
  • The attorney’s experience and expertise

Get the fee structure in writing so there are no surprises later. If an attorney is unwilling to write their fee, that’s a red flag.

The Attorney’s Communication Skills

You and your attorney will be in constant communication, so they must have good communication skills. During the initial consultation, pay attention to how well the attorney listens to you and answers your questions. Do they seem rushed or disinterested? Or are they patient and attentive?

In addition to being a good listener, an attorney must also be a good communicator. They should be able to explain complex legal concepts in layman’s terms. If you don’t understand something, they should be able to explain it in a way that you do.

The Attorney’s Personality

The deciding factor for some people is whether they like the attorney’s personality. After all, you’ll spend a lot of time with this person, so you must get along.

If you don’t gel with the attorney during the consultation, it’s probably not worth pursuing a relationship.

Persistence and tenacity are essential qualities in an attorney. If they cannot stand up for you, then you’re not going to get the best possible outcome.

Other important qualities to look for in an attorney include the following:

  • The ability to think outside the box
  • A positive attitude
  • Compassion
  • A sense of humor

How Comfortable You Feel with the Attorney

It is perhaps the most crucial factor of all. For instance, birth injury cases (where the client is very emotional) require an attorney who can understand and be assertive. If an attorney makes you uncomfortable, you will not be able to trust them with your case.

Comfort and confidence are critical when choosing an attorney. So, if the lawyer you’re considering offers a free consultation, take advantage of it. It’ll allow you to get to know them and see if they’re the right fit for you.

The Attorney’s Location

Most attorneys practice in a single state. If you have a case in another state, you’ll need to find an attorney licensed to practice there.

Some attorneys have offices in multiple states, but many don’t. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the location of the attorney’s office when making your decision. It is vital in terms of availability and convenience.

You might have to travel to meet with your attorney if you live in a rural area. That’s not necessarily bad, but it might make your life tough.

The Size of the Firm

Some people feel more comfortable working with a large law firm, while others prefer a smaller one. But, of course, there are pros and cons to both.

A large law firm might have more resources, but it might also be less personal. In terms of cost, large firms tend to be more expensive than smaller ones.

Conversely, a smaller firm might be more agile and able to give you the individualized attention that you deserve. The downside is that they might not have the same resources as a larger firm.

The size of the firm is ultimately up to you. Consider your needs and preferences when making your decision.

The Attorney’s Staff

In addition to the attorney, you’ll also be working with their staff. It includes paralegals, legal assistants, and secretaries. They look after the day-to-day details of your case.

It would be best if you tried understanding the attorney’s staff during the consultation. For example, are they professional and courteous, or are they rude and unprofessional.

Feeling comfortable with the staff is essential, as you’ll be working with them regularly.

The Bottom Line

Legal matters are complex, so you need an attorney you can trust. The relationship between an attorney and their client is a very personal one.

You need to find an attorney you’re comfortable with and feel confident will get the job done.

Keep the factors listed above in mind when making your decision. And don’t be afraid to ask around for recommendations. Friends, family, and even other lawyers can be excellent sources of referrals.

Take your time and choose the right attorney for you. It’ll make all the difference in the world.

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