You are involved in a legal issue. You have decided that it is too complex to deal with yourself and that you have the financial means to hire a lawyer. You are in the market for a lawyer, but how do you know which lawyer to hire?

FAILURE TO PROVIDE A CELL PHONE NUMBER. This is related to the failure to keep in touch. Depending on the nature of the representation, your lawyer may need to be able to reach you quickly. It is frustrating to the lawyer not to be able to reach you and it can adversely impact your case. You should take steps to insure that your attorney is able to reach you and speak with you promptly or within an hour or two. For example, suppose your lawyer is engaged in a negotiation in your behalf. If he/she is unable to reach you at a critical point in negotiation, it could result in “blowing” the negotiation or losing the deal.

Question the lawyer’s experience in their field of court representation. Just because a lawyer is a lawyer doesn’t mean that he/she will be an effective means of protecting your livelihood in court. Divorce court can get very rough in terms of questions asked and the context of the conversations. If you choose a lawyer who can’t represent you well in court, you take the chance of losing any chance at what would otherwise be rightfully yours.

Cases are not dismissed on this basis without prior notice to counsel of record. The lawyer did not notify his client of the potential dismissal. It was not until the court notified her of the dismissal that she found out what had happened. The client was in an automobile accident, as a result of which she was hospitalized and undergoing multiple surgeries. She trusted her solicitor to look out for her interests; she did not know or understand what should have been taking place and had no idea until she received notification from the court that the case had been dismissed.

Do you keep a track of your debt? This is one aspect of personal financial management that most people neglect to do. Living on credit cards it’s easy to keep spending money you don’t have. It’s always a good practice to keep a track of how much you owe your creditors every month and recognize the total debt you have accrued. This always serves as a sobering reminder and helps to curtail spending.

Lawyers can be sued for malpractice, misrepresentation, inappropriate billing, negligence, breach of fiduciary duties, and breach of contract among many other instances.

Consider buying a product that comes with a free trial. This will allow you to test its features and if you are not comfortable with anything, you are not obliged to spend on it.

Don’t feel pressured to hire the attorney during the initial consultation. Take a few days to think about the meeting, and interview other attorneys. Once you decide on an attorney you will set up another appointment to sign a representation agreement and take care of any retainer or deposit requirements. The representation agreement is the contract between you and your attorney. Read it carefully and ask the lawyer to explain anything you do not understand.