HOT TIPS on how to hire a lawyer. It’s YOUR case.
Well, hello. I’m attorney Chuck Schierer. You know my law firm, Schierer & Ritchie, a law firm that helps injured people. Welcome to our video today about how to hire a lawyer. This is very important and in fact I get questions about this really all the time because we have people who will come in and they’re sitting across the desk from me and they’re trying to interview me much like I’m trying to figure out whether or not their case is right for this office. Today’s video is how do you hire a lawyer and how do you do it correctly. Because you are … all of a sudden you’ve got this case, something in your life has happened and now you need help. You need legal help and the legal process can be confusing. There can be complex rules, it can be intimidating to be in front of a judge or perhaps a jury and you want to have a partner in the case who is invested in the case but understands your case, understands you and understands what the consequences are.
1. Find a lawyer with a legal focus related to your case.
The first thing is you’ve got to determine what it is you need, what it is you need. And if you need a case that’s going to go to trial, then you need a trial lawyer. If you need a case that is going to settle, you need somebody who really knows what a case is worth and how to get the case settled. You’ve got to have an eye on what that outcome is going to be. In selecting your attorney, if you don’t know somebody so that’s the very first thing. If you know somebody, pick up the phone or send a text and try to get a referral from somebody you know.
If you don’t know somebody, oftentimes I get this question, “Well, why do lawyers advertise? Should lawyers advertise?” There is a debate that is always going on as to whether or not lawyers should advertise, but there’s one thing you really should consider is the rich, the powerful folks in society, the people who are truly connected, they all know lawyers, they’re running in circles with other attorneys. They may live in their neighborhood, they may go to the country club or go to their church, but they know other attorneys and some folks don’t. And if they don’t, then they don’t necessarily know exactly where to look so advertising is a good way of helping the public understand that those services are out there. But my recommendation is that you go and you interview multiple attorneys, that you go into their office, you sit down and you’re asking questions. And first and foremost is what is their experience in this particular need that you have.
This law firm does personal injury and we do criminal defense. And if you have a need in one of those areas and you’re sitting across the desk from me, you’re hearing about the fact that I have tried numerous cases… You’re hearing about the fact that I’ve picked juries and got verdicts in both in personal injury cases and in criminal cases. And if you’re needing a trial, that’s something that would be appealing to you in your case. If you’re sitting across from a lawyer who does family law or bankruptcy or patent law or something like that, all great areas of the law, but they’re very specific, that may not be the best choice for your auto accident case or for a DUI case.
2. Build trust with your attorney. Become “partners” for your case.
Once you get a sense of what their experience level is, you got to get a comfort level with the attorney. I always view our cases as a partnership, that we are partnering with our clients, that we are going to be teaming up with our clients to get the best outcome possible. If you are sitting across the desk from a lawyer and they are talking down to you, if they are condescending you, the lawyer is talking through you, talking over you, they’re not listening to you, here’s one thing that you need to consider: that once you hire that lawyer if they’re not listening to you now, are they going to listen to you later? And the odds are that they’re not going to be listening to you later.
That very first impression, you kind of got to go with your gut, but if there is no real connection between human beings here, between client and lawyer, the odds are there’s not going to be much of a connection down the road because if the case has to go into litigation if the case has to go onto a trial, you need to trust each other. You both have to be on the same page. You have to have the same common goal. And if there is no connection, then you’ve got a real problem.
3. Ensure your lawyer has the experience necessary to handle your case.
The other thing you probably want to know is have they handled something very similar to your particular area? While they may be a criminal lawyer, have they handled a DUI with your specific facts. Or they may be an auto accident lawyer, but they may settle all their cases and haven’t actually been to a trial. You’re going to want to know what they’ve done for clients in the past. Probably isn’t going to hurt you to ask for any references. Now, some lawyers may not share those. Others may have some prior clients who are ambassadors for the firm, people who are are pleased to help the firm out.
I think if you follow those types of things. 1. Get your referrals. 2. Get into more than one attorney’s office and do interviews. 3. See what kind of connection you have the attorney and 4. Try to learn about prior clients and what they’ve done. You want to do that. Now, the final tip that I would tell you is it is very difficult to change lawyers. It’s not impossible. People do it all the time but it’s difficult. It’s important to try to make that decision first correctly. If you make the wrong decision, then you need to probably change course as quickly as possible. A big mistake, big mistake that clients make is they’ve identified within the first couple of weeks or the first couple of months that this is not the right lawyer for me or my family or my case, and they simply don’t do anything about it.
4. Don’t wait any longer to find legal representation!
The longer you wait, the worse it’s going to be so I strongly recommend if you’re early on or really no matter where you are in the case, if you’re just now watching this video, and you need to make a change, you need to look into that because it’s going to be very, very difficult to change if the case has gone on for a long period of time. In any event, Schierer & Ritchie, we’re in East Peoria, we do auto accidents, we do felony criminal defense. If it’s an auto accident case, we take it on a contingency fee basis. That means that you do not pay unless we recover something for you. And on a criminal case, call my office, make an appointment, we’ll sit down, we’ll talk with you and we’ll tell you exactly what we can do. It’s typically a flat fee so there are never any surprises. 309-518-1646 or you can find us on the web at srtriallawyers.com. Thanks for watching.