When looking for an attorney, most of us find one based on the fees they charge. But that can’t be the only factor that determines whether an attorney is a good fit. You also need to look into other factors such as their credibility, experience, and ability to tackle your case.
Here are some more attributes that you might want to consider:
How your attorney communicates
You and your attorney are a team, so you can’t work on a standalone basis. It’s the attorney’s job to keep you in the loop and make sure you’re always updated regarding the proceedings of the case. If they fail to communicate things in detail and in a timely fashion, they’re not what you would call a great attorney.
Other than giving you an overview of where the case is heading, the attorney should also respond to your queries, emails, and calls in a timely fashion. If they don’t within a business day, make sure they have an explanation.
Your attorney will probably have multiple cases to attend to, and most of their time is usually tied up in court. However, if they don’t have a valid reason for not getting back to you, you have every right to dismiss them and look for a better option.
How ethical is the attorney?
The exact code of conduct that an attorney should follow varies from one state to another. However, some general rules that are relevant throughout the US are as follows:
- They should maintain attorney-client privilege at all costs.
- They should represent the client and their stance in the court with utmost loyalty—without any conflict of interest.
- No matter what they do, their work should be well within the bounds of the law.
- They should maintain a separate bank account for the client’s money.
- While they’re helping the client, they should not engage in any sort of criminal activity.
- The attorney should always put the client’s interests above their own.
If your attorney fails to comply with the law, you may report them to the relevant agency within your state. They can be subjected to fines and suspension of privileges and license as per the degree of the violation.
A high degree of competency
Other than having a great work ethic, your attorney should also possess a body of legal knowledge and expertise. Just because they’ve passed the bar exam with decent scores doesn’t always mean that they’ll be great at what they do.
If you feel like your attorney is guilty of some sort of malpractice or error that resulted in you losing money, you can even sue them. This is because they didn’t act in a reasonably competent manner. Most of these mistakes are procedural in nature and include common errors like not filing the lawsuit on time or representing two sides of a divorce case.
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