Hiring and Working with a Lawyer: Answering Your Legal Questions
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Almost everything we do is affected by laws. In our democratic society, the courts are available to everyone. Accessibility to the legal system, however, can raise many questions: When do you need a lawyer? Where should you look to find one? For many people, the idea of contacting a lawyer may be intimidating – they might not know if they need a lawyer or how to choose one, what they can expect to pay for legal services, or understand the lawyer's role as advocate and counselor – so they might avoid contacting a lawyer even when it is in their best interests to do so. This pamphlet provides guidelines for choosing and working with a lawyer, and explains what a lawyer can and cannot do for you.
The information covered:
- When should I consult a lawyer?
- May I represent myself?
- Who is the "right" lawyer for me?
- Where do I find a lawyer?
- Should I expect to pay for my first meeting with the lawyer?
- What will happen during my first visit with my lawyer?
- What is a retainer agreement?
- Will I have to pay money up front?
- Can I do anything to reduce legal expenses?
- What should I expect when I hire a lawyer?
- What will my lawyer expect from me?
- Can I change lawyers in the middle of a case if I'm dissatisfied with a lawyer's representation?
- How does a lawyer set fees?
- What happens if you disagree with your lawyer's bill?
- What if I have questions about my lawyer's ethical conduct?
Last updated: 1/2011