Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer


Just as your legal matter differs from all others, attorneys differ from each other in numerous ways, including years of experience, familiarity with the law involved in your dispute, competence, professional judgment, personality, ethical conduct, communication style, and billing practices. To ensure you choose the right attorney for you and your unique matter, we suggest you ask the following questions and any others that come to mind. Remember: you are considering entrusting your very important legal affairs with a person you don’t know. It behooves you to choose wisely based on as much information as you can obtain. If you don’t like the answers or don’t feel that you can have an open, trusting relationship with that lawyer, we advise you not to retain him.

    • • What is the cost of the initial consultation?

      • Have you handled cases like mine before? How many? What was the outcome?

      • Will you be the only attorney who works on the case? If not, who else will work on it?

      • How long will it take for this case to be resolved?

      • What are my alternatives in resolving the matter?

      • Can I avoid the high cost of litigation by utilizing mediation or arbitration?

      • How much will my case cost? Can you take my case on a contingent fee basis?

      • Can I do some of the work on the case to keep the cost down?

      • Are there things I should do to improve my case, or to help you?

      • How will you keep me informed about the progress of my case?

      • If I contact your office with questions, how long will you take to return my call?

      • If you are unavailable or on vacation, whom can I speak to about my case?

      • How often do you go to trial?

      • If I am not happy with a settlement offer, but you want to settle, will you go to court anyway?

      • If I am happy with the offer, but you think we can win more at trial, will you follow my wishes and settle?

      • Have you ever been disciplined by an ethics committee, or been suspended from the practice of law? If so, why?

      • What “continuing legal education” courses have you attended during the past few years?


For a complimentary phone consultation, call us today at (310) 268-6666, or contact us online.