Tips on Hiring an Attorney

The first step in a criminal or family law case is selecting an attorney.  I would like to discuss this topic today because it is crucial to achieving a successful outcome.  As an attorney, I can offer a unique perspective by sharing how I personally would select attorney to represent me.  You may very well have additional questions though, and I urge you to ask them.  It is important to get as much information as you can, but today I’m just going to focus on a few key factors.

Compatibility?  – The best way to begin any relationship is with positive and open conversation.  Therefore, the consultation process with a potential attorney is of the utmost importance.  The attorney may have an excellent reputation, but you find that you have a hard time communicating effectively and understanding each other.  Or, you may find just the opposite and a level of trust develops.  I understand this, which is why I make my initial consultations free (and confidential).  It is important to uncover any incompatibilities before you agree to retain services and before an attorney agrees to represent you.

Experience?  –  Does the attorney have experience dealing specifically with your type of case?  I would want to know if my prospective attorney has experience dealing with my type of issue with similar circumstances.  For example, has the attorney ever represented an unmarried father seeking custody of his child?  Or, in a criminal case, has the attorney ever represented a client with the same, or similar, charges?  Each case is unique, but it’s important to know that the attorney has the experience necessary to build an effective argument for you.

The Plan? – The attorney and client need to agree on the planned course of action.  I have had clients who were not concerned with how I handled their case.  However, an attorney’s primary goal is to satisfy his client, so it is important for the client to understand and support the proposed plan of action.

For example, a client may want to be exonerated from a criminal charge, and there could be multiple ways to accomplish this goal.  Pre Trial Intervention or Diversion may be available, the Solicitor can dismiss the charge, or you could be found not guilty at a bench or jury trial.  Most people, including myself, care and want to understand their options and the potential outcomes.  Therefore, it is best to thoroughly discuss and choose a plan together.

The Cost? – Lastly, it is important to discuss money.   Some important things to consider are: How much are you being charged in attorney’s fees?  What payment is due up front?  Will the attorney charge a flat fee, or am I being billed hourly?  Is the fee a contingency fee?  Are there any potential Court fees due now or in the future?  Do you foresee the need to hire an expert?  Having the answers to these questions will help alleviate the pressure caused by money, one of the greatest sources of stress, during an already stressful time.


Please do not construe this as formal legal advice.  If you need the assistance of an attorney, and are interested in our services, Call today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.  Our law office serves those across Upstate, South Carolina, including Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens, and Oconee counties.