When it comes to hiring lawyers such as criminal defense attorney M.J. Snyder law, you probably know that a lawyer could be the one to change your life completely. Because some legal cases can be life-changing, it’s vital to get a lawyer that can help you rather than go against (or not adequately do their job at all). But even when searching for and hiring an attorney, you can still expect some mistakes to happen. What are these? Well, here are a few common mistakes.
Not Getting a Free Consultation
It’s so important to protect yourself, but you need to make sure that you’re not spending money while hunting for a good lawyer. The first mistake you should avoid is not getting a free consultation when hiring an attorney. This can be a huge mistake because the lawyer you hire is going to represent you for years to come.
Many attorneys offer free consultations in certain areas, like personal injury and employee rights, where the client is financially disadvantaged and needs legal help. Why go with free? Well, you deserve to find a lawyer to help you, which will require some searching and interviewing. Make sure to look into lawyers that offer free first-time consultations.
Not Checking Their Reputation
One of the most important aspects of hiring an attorney is checking their reputation. While it’s true that lawyers tend to have a bad reputation, you need to look closely into the lawyer itself, so don’t just immediately assume they’re bad due to their professionalism. You should also look up their credentials from the state bar and see what kind of awards they have won in the past.
You could try to go the extra mile and check out the best lawyers in your area; sometimes, a few referrals from friends or family could really help. Not only will this ensure that you are making the most informed decision possible, but it will also keep you out of a sticky situation down the road. Lawyers are a business, and just like any business, product, or service, their ratings and reputation must be looked into first.
Not Checking Their Fees
When hiring an attorney, asking about their fees upfront is crucial. You’ll want to know whether they charge a flat fee, hourly rate, or retainer. You should also find out the minimum billing segment and the maximum cost of their services. If they don’t tell you, you may be surprised when you get your first bill. You don’t want to end up paying more than you expected, and not being able to dispute the charges later can lead to problems. A lot of people sadly make this mistake far too much.
In addition, it’s important to make sure that you have a written agreement between you and your lawyer about fees and costs. Almost always, you can expect this in the first place. If your lawyer doesn’t provide you with this document, it’s a sign that they aren’t communicating their fees clearly to you, which is a major red flag. During the first meeting, discuss this, and get it all in writing. There are bad lawyers out there, so be careful.