Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by lukesguide
Are you needing to hire a lawyer?
If your answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place!
This guide explains the process of hiring a lawyer, the benefits of hiring a lawyer, and the costs associated with hiring a lawyer.
Read on for more!
The process of hiring a lawyer will vary depending on the situation and the type of legal matter you need assistance with. However, there are some general steps you can take to find and hire a lawyer.
We’ve outlined below some of the key steps you can take to help streamline the process of hiring a lawyer.
Usually, if you know enough to recognize that you need to hire a lawyer for assistance with a curly legal issue, you have some idea of what you need from them.
You might not know the legal nitty-gritty of the problem and the possible solution but it helps to take some time to clarify what your needs are so that you can succinctly explain your objectives to potential legal advisors.
Being able to succinctly explain your problem can potentially save you significant time and money down the track. It can really pay to write down your goals/objectives in a few sentences to consolidate your thoughts.
This is because lawyers will provide a quote or fee estimate based on the information you provide to them. Ultimately, the better your legal advisor understands the issues you are experiencing, the better placed they are to advise you as efficiently as possible.
Ideally, you should aim to:
- Be clear about your objectives: Clearly define your goals and expectations at the outset of your engagement with your legal advisor. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your lawyer is focused on achieving the outcomes you desire.
- Provide relevant and accurate information: Provide all relevant information, documents, and background materials requested by your attorney. This will assist your lawyer in better understanding your situation and provide better legal advice.
- Be responsive: When asked for information, respond promptly so that your matter can continue to progress in a timely manner.
Chances are that someone you already know (e.g. family, friend, work colleague) can give you a recommendation for a lawyer they have used previously.
Recommendations can be helpful but you will need to use your judgment as to whether these recommendations are worth pursuing.
When triaging recommendations, go back and consider your objectives. Think about what type of lawyer you need (e.g. corporate lawyer, property lawyer, family lawyer, etc.), your budget, and how trustworthy the source of the recommendation is.
If you aren’t able to source any good recommendations, another option is to look online at reviews for lawyers in your area or an online law firm.
Online reviews can be a helpful resource but use your judgment and consider the reliability of the review source.
Your local law society, council, or association is also a great source for recommendations.
When going through the process of hiring an attorney, avoid hiring the first one you come across.
If time permits, it is worth taking the time to research and speak with a few different lawyers to get an idea of their background, experience, and qualifications.
Depending on the nature of your legal issue, it is worth looking for specialists in their chosen field of law that are relevant to your legal query and then broadening your search from there.
Taking the time to compare things like areas of expertise, experience, and fee structure can save you time and money.
If you are planning on handing over your hard-earned to a legal advisor, make sure they are happy to meet with you first. This doesn’t necessarily need to be an in-person meeting, it can also be a virtual meeting or a phone call.
If the lawyer you are considering hiring does not set aside the time to meet and discuss your issue with you first, this may be an indication that they like to ‘churn and burn’ matters and you’ll just end up on the end of a production line. This is a potential red flag and you should probably look elsewhere.
This might seem like a no-brainer but as a lawyer myself, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had clients that have not read the terms of our engagement contract.
Disagreements about the level of service to be provided and the fees payable often arise when both parties are not on the same page with regard to the specific terms of the service arrangement.
Reading the agreement carefully from the outset will save you a lot of time and money down the track.
In particular, read the engagement contract and understand what services are in scope and which ones are specifically excluded. In addition, have a good understanding of the fee structure (including situations where the lawyer can charge disbursements on your behalf) so there are no nasty surprises when you receive your bill.
Gone are the days when you had to make an appointment many weeks in advance and make a special trip to see your lawyer at their office.
There has been an explosion of online law firms over the last few years and in some cases, you can receive high-quality legal advice from reputable firms in real time.
Going with a virtual law firm or online legal advisor can also save you money as many of the online legal service providers operate on a fixed fee basis. In addition, online lawyers generally have less overhead and can pass these savings on to their clients.
There are many benefits to hiring a lawyer. This is especially true when dealing with legal issues that can be complex, confusing, or stressful.
To help you understand better the benefits of hiring a lawyer, we discuss some of the key benefits below:
Lawyers have specialized knowledge and training in different aspects of the law, which means they can provide expert advice and guidance on legal matters that are within their area of expertise.
Lawyers can help you navigate the legal system within a particular jurisdiction, understand your rights and obligations, and provide options for legal solutions to complex problems.
Lawyers can assess the facts and circumstances of your case, determine the strengths and weaknesses, and develop a legal strategy to help achieve your desired outcome.
If your legal matter goes to a court or tribunal, a lawyer can represent you and advocate on your behalf. They can present evidence, argue your case, and cross-examine witnesses to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
In most cases, constructive negotiations, and ultimately a settlement are key to reaching a favorable outcome. A lawyer can help negotiate with the other party or their lawyer to reach a settlement that meets your needs and objectives.
Lawyers can draft legal documents and contracts that are legally binding and enforceable. For example, if you are selling a business, a lawyer can help guide you through which legal documents are required and help prepare them. A lawyer can also review contracts and legal documents to ensure they are in your best interest and protect your legal rights.
By hiring a lawyer, you can have peace of mind knowing that your legal matter is being handled by a professional who is looking out for your best interests. This can help reduce stress and anxiety, and ensure that you have the best possible outcome in your legal matter.
The cost of hiring a lawyer will vary depending on a number of factors, such as:
- the type of legal matter you need assistance with
- the location of the lawyer
- the lawyer’s level of experience and expertise
- the complexity of the legal issues
In general, lawyers will charge for their services in one of two ways: (i) using an hourly rate, or (ii) via a fixed fee arrangement.
Hourly rates can range from around $200 (for smaller boutique law firms) to $1,000 or more (for larger or top-tier firms).
Fixed fees are often used for simpler legal matters, such as drafting simple contracts or providing high-level legal advice, and can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
It’s important to note that some lawyers may require a retainer, which is an upfront payment to cover the cost of their services. The amount of the retainer can also vary depending on the lawyer and the case.
If you are looking to hire a lawyer, it’s a good idea to get quotes from several different lawyers and to discuss their fee structure and any potential additional costs upfront to avoid any surprises down the road.
Choosing a lawyer that you can trust is not usually a quick process but when done right, it can be a very rewarding experience.
A good lawyer that you trust and enjoy working with is incredibly important as legal issues will inevitably pop up from time to time.
Are you in the process of searching for a legal advisor? Or do you already have a go-to lawyer that handles all of your legal work?
Let us know in the comments!