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Ask Avvo: What questions should I ask before hiring a lawyer?


Q: What questions should I ask before hiring a lawyer?

A: Whether you need to hire a lawyer to help you set up your small business, draft your estate planning documents, or defend you in court, there are some basic questions you should ask of any lawyer you’re thinking of hiring.

1. What percentage of your cases deal with issues like mine?

This is an important question that a reputable lawyer should have no problem answering. You want to find a lawyer that has experience dealing with your specific issue, and this question will help you determine whether a lawyer is right for you. Feel free to ask for specific statistics, and for their average verdict/settlement numbers in cases similar to yours.

2. How much experience do you have?

Lawyers, like all professionals, will have varying degrees of experience. Understanding a lawyer’s previous experience is essential to understanding how they can handle your case. You’ll want to ask how many years the lawyer has been practicing. A lack of experience doesn’t necessarily make for a bad lawyer, though, especially if they have experienced lawyers around them.

3. What is your current case load?

You want to ask about the lawyer’s current case load so you know if they have time to give your case the attention you expect. Do they handle many cases? How much of each case do they personally oversee and how much do they delegate to assistants? If they sound overworked or overwhelmed by any of the cases they’re currently working on, it is probably wise to find another lawyer that has room in their schedule for your case.

4. How will you contact me? What’s the best way for me to contact you?

Make sure you and your attorney are on the same page about communication. Ask about their preferred communication methods, and whether they are willing to use your preferred communication methods. Does the lawyer you are considering hiring accept (and respond to) communication via email? Will they respond if you send a text? What is their normal response time for answering client questions?

Make sure they respond promptly (within 24 hours) to your initial inquiries — you don’t want to hire a lawyer who won’t return your calls or avoids prompt communication about your case.

5. What is your availability and schedule, if I need to contact you?

It’s especially important to understand a potential lawyer’s availability. Will they be going on a three-week vacation in the middle of your case? Do they take phone calls after business hours? Do their legal assistants have a way to contact them if they are not in the office? You should have a good sense of how and when your lawyer will be available to communicate with you.

NEXT: Read the full guide, “How to find and hire a great lawyer”

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Ben Allen

I appreciate the tips on questions to ask when hiring a lawyer, these will really help my brother as he is looking for a lawyer. I never thought to ask the question, what is your current case load? I think this is an important question to ask to ensure they have the time to put into your case. My brother is looking for a lawyer for his accident and I think this list will benefit him.

Darren komatz

Great share,,,
Informative and helpful post... Well, Nowadays, there are so many ways to judge a lawyer that he/she is good for your case or not. But, thanks for these amazing list. :) :)

linda Prin

I really need help from an attorney for an injury case, but it is very time sensitive. Your post lets me know that it isn't too much to expect for an attorney to get back to me because then they have time for me and will communicate with me effectively. Thank you for helping me in my legal search.


These are great questions to ask. A lot of lawyers offer free consultations, which is a great time to see if you are a good fit. You want to make sure that you get a lawyer that you trust and can communicate well with. Thanks for sharing!


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