You have done your internet research and you have a few appointments with attorneys in Stafford, Virginia. Now you need to know what to ask the attorneys you speak to. Asking the right questions is very important. A word of caution, don’t be intimidated and glaze over the hard questions. Use these questions to judge the experience and effectiveness of the attorney you are interviewing. Take lots of notes and don’t let the attorney pressure you to sign any forms before they have answered these nine very important questions.
- What experience do you have handling my type of case?
Lawyer should be specialists. Ask the attorney what types of cases they handle, and what kind of experience they have in those practice areas. Ideally, you want an attorney who has trial experience in your type of case.
- How will you keep me informed about my case?
This is an important question for you and it should be important for your attorney. Some cases take months, even years before they are settled. You will want to stay informed of the process of your case throughout that process. Ask the attorney their plans for keeping you informed and staying in touch.
- What can you say about your online ratings?
Ask the attorney about their AVVO rating, about their Yelp ratings, or any other consumer ratings available on the web. Ask them about their negative reviews, and how they responded to those negative reviews.
- What is your process for handling cases?
Great attorneys have systems and processes in place in their office to handle cases. Ask about the timeline for your case, and the steps that are taken throughout the process. This information is good to have and it helps you to understand how your case is handled.
- Do you have a track record of success?
Check out their success stories. An experienced attorney should have a few “big wins” they can share with you. Pay attention to how complex those cases were. Any attorney can handle the simple cases (and you can too), but the large, difficult cases are real indicators of success.
- Have you published any articles, books, or guides for other attorneys or consumers?
An attorney should do their best to try and educated their clients about their practice area. Ask the attorney if they have any materials that they distribute to their clients. Ask if they have any articles on their website, or if they have contributed to any major publication.
- Are you board certified?
If a lawyer is board certified by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification, then they have been evaluated by the board and have been declared an attorney of high quality in their certified practice area. In order to be board certified, an attorney "undergoes a thorough screening of their credentials, including: documentation of their experience, judicial and peer references, an exam, and they must report all disciplinary matters brought before any official body, whether public or private, for scrutiny by the NBLSC Standards Committee." You can find board certified attorneys on the NBLSC website, here.
- Do you have malpractice insurance?
Malpractice insurance isn’t just for doctors and dentists. It is important that attorneys have malpractice insurance. If your case is handled negligently and the attorney does not have malpractice insurance, you may not have legal recourse against them.
- Who in your firm will be working on my case?
It is important that you know who else in the firm will be working on your case, whether it be associate attorneys, paralegals, interns, or anyone else. You need to know who has access to your information and who will be contacting you.
This is a big list, but there are even more questions you can ask attorneys when you interview them. Be sure to check out other articles on our website for more information. You can also request a FREE pdf of my book, The Truth About Lawyer Advertising. If you are looking for a Loudoun county attorney, you can call BenGlassLaw at (703)584-7277 to speak with one of our team members.