What to Look for When Hiring a Lawyer

Consulting with a Lawyer

Table of Contents:

Questions to Ask a Lawyer Before Hiring
Sometimes a Specialist Is Not The Best
Be Wary of Lawyers on TV, Billboards & Bathrooms
Don’t Trust Super Lawyers and Other Lists
Your Lawyer Buddy May Not Be a Very Good Lawyer
Choose an Attorney with A Proven Record of Success

Selecting a lawyer is a daunting task, to say the least. When doing so, it’s generally because a person finds themselves in a very scary situation and just wants to get someone on the case fast to relieve the stress. 

If you rush to decide on a lawyer and do not do the due diligence to make sure the lawyer you select is competent, it could be a move that is detrimental to your freedom, money, health and/or children. 

This article will help you know what questions to ask and what to look for when hiring a lawyer. 

Questions to Ask A Lawyer Before Hiring

Before or during your initial consultation with your potential attorney, start with these questions:

  • How many trials have they done? 
  • How many appeals have they done?  
  • How many wins has the lawyer had? 

Ask for case numbers of their trials and appeals, news articles for their big wins or references from other clients the lawyer has helped. 

In short, ask the lawyer to prove to you they are a good lawyer. If they can’t, it’s probably because they are not a good lawyer.  Below are some common mistakes people make when looking for a lawyer.  But if you pose the following questions, it is likely the chance of falling into common traps that usually result in hiring a bad lawyer will be significantly minimized.

Sometimes a Specialist Is Not The Best Lawyer for the Case

Many times a person will think that a lawyer that does nothing but the specific type of case the client needs is the best lawyer to handle the situation. But the reality is that many times “specialists” are the assembly line equivalent of the legal industry. 

They move their practice area’s process fast to make a profit.  But in law, like many industries, it’s generally the craftsperson that does the best work, not the high-volume manufacturers. 

Be Wary of Lawyers Who Advertise on TV, Billboards and Bathrooms

Private lawyers are in business to make a profit, but sometimes getting a good result for a client is not a profitable endeavor. Other times, the lawyer is just not competent to get a client a good result, but will take a retainer to make some money. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but it gets the point across.  

There are good lawyers, and then there are good business people who practice law. A good lawyer went into law to help people, which is a primary motivating factor. A good business person who practices law is looking to make money and is not as concerned about getting a good result for the client. 

Now, I say this is a bit of an oversimplification because there are good lawyers who are also good business people. And profit can drive a lawyer to get their clients good results. Additionally, the economics of a case can be a primary driving factor in the winnability of the case. 

For example, a person may have a legitimate legal claim, but for that claim to be won would take more time and resources than what the claim is worth. A good lawyer will recognize this and tell you. A business person who practices law may not tell you and take your money. This is a common situation in family law cases. Sometimes a family law lawyer will drag a family law case out more than needed in order to make more money. 

That’s not happening at Norwood Law. 

Don’t Trust Super Lawyers and Other Lists 

About half the lawyers on the list are good, and the other half – well – they aren’t super lawyers, we’ll just put it that way. Some of the lawyers don’t practice anymore or do not practice the areas they are listed in, and some are marketers that are good at getting their name out but not good at representing their clients. 

Your Lawyer Buddy May Not Be a Very Good Lawyer

It is common for people to call the lawyer they know when they need legal advice. This can work out great, but it can also be a disaster. Just because you know a lawyer or they’re your friend does not mean that person is competent to handle a legal matter that is extremely important to you. 

Ask your lawyer friend the hard questions to discover their competence and track record. If you are concerned about hurting your lawyer friend’s feelings, look at it this way: if your lawyer friend screws your case up with poor legal counsel, they won’t be your friend anymore. Plus, you’ll have a mess on your hands that may not be able to be fixed, even by a really good lawyer.  So, make sure you get a competent, experienced, trustworthy attorney to begin with.

Choose an Attorney with A Proven Record of Success

Reconsider your choice if the lawyer you’re consulting with can’t provide you with accomplishments like the following:

  • Winning the largest settlement for Excessive Force in the history of the North Oklahoma district. (Northern District of Oklahoma Case No. 18-cv-491)
  • Securing the freedom of a man who was wrongfully incarcerated for 28 years and taking on a related civil rights lawsuit.
  • Overturning the “No Pay, No Play” Statute before the Oklahoma Supreme Court that affects citizens daily.
  • Pursuing and winning an products liability personal injury suit against an Italian manufacturer for a client. (Tulsa County Case No. CJ-14-3069)

Choose an experienced attorney who has a track record of success with Norwood Law. Schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at Norwood Law Firm today.