If you are facing legal issues and are looking to hire an attorney, the HCBA Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help you find the right one.
You can contact Lawyer Referral with confidence. Our service meets the
high standards of the American Bar Association, and all participating attorneys
are appropriately insured and in good standing with the Minnesota Lawyers
Call 612-752-6666 during regular business hours: Monday to Friday,
from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
More information on how Lawyer Referral works is here.
Questions to Consider When Hiring an Attorney
Choosing an attorney may be the most important step
toward resolving your legal situation. The attorney you choose can affect the amount of time and money you spend
resolving your case, how much input you have about your case, future
relationships with the opposing party, and how your case is decided.
Finding an attorney is like hiring an employee. Remember, you are
hiring someone to work for you.
the following questions when meeting with an attorney:
- How much
experience does the attorney have with cases like yours?
- How many years
has the attorney practiced law?
- How would the
attorney represent your point of view?
- How much does
the attorney charge? Are you willing to pay these fees?
- Are you
comfortable with the attorney? Can you share the personal aspects of your
case with this person?
- Do you have
confidence in the attorney to resolve your legal situation?
Understanding Attorney Fees and Legal Costs
Cost is an
important factor to most individuals who are looking for a lawyer. This
service refers callers to private market-rate attorneys only. The
following should help you understand the fees involved in hiring an attorney.
You should sign
a retainer agreement when authorizing the attorney to work for you. The
retainer agreement is your contract with the attorney. It should specify
how you will pay (hourly rates, contingency and flat fees, or retainers) and
the cost of various legal services (research, drafting of documents, filing
fees, court hearings). Read your contract carefully and keep a copy.Attorney Fees:
attorney provides a specific service for a specified fee. This
arrangement is most common in simple cases like the purchase of property
or the preparation of a will or trust.
attorney is paid only when money is collected for you, usually a percentage of
the amount recovered. However, you will need to pay some costs "up
front,” such as filing fees and court costs. A contingency arrangement is
possible only if you are seeking monetary damages.
and Hourly Fees: Often an attorney will ask for a retainer, or advance payment, before working for
you. The attorney will then subtract hourly fees from this retainer. You
should receive itemized statements listing services provided and fees charged.
Managing the Attorney/Client Relationship -- Your
Your attorney should have the legal expertise to handle your case.The
attorney should know the legal process and the law as it relates to your case.
you involved in your case.
You, not your attorney, must live with the outcome of your case. Your
attorney’s role is to advise and recommend. Remember, you make the
attorney should regularly inform you of your case’s progress.The
attorney should return phone calls within a reasonable time.
In most cases your attorney cannot share facts from your case with
others. Ask your attorney for more information on attorney-client
progress toward resolving your case.
Your attorney is employed by you to resolve your legal problems.You
should expect your attorney to be making progress on your case.
law in an ethical manner.
If you have questions, or believe your attorney is acting unethically, call the
Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility at 651-296-3952.
Managing the Attorney/Client Relationship -- Your
Attorneys cannot work miracles. They can only argue the facts as they
exist. Ask your attorney what is a reasonable outcome of your legal
your attorney every important fact. Your attorney cannot help you if you are
not honest. If you withhold facts you waste your money and your
your legal fees.
Lawyer Referral provides only private market-rate attorneys. You should
expect to pay for attorney services, including phone calls, letters, drafting
and reviewing of documents, and court appearances.
a part of your case.
You have to live with the outcome of your case. Let your attorney know
what is an acceptable outcome. Ask questions so that you understand the
legal aspects of your case and the legal process.
your attorney’s time.
Your attorney’s time is your money -- use both wisely. If you must cancel
an appointment, notify your attorney in advance. Put your questions in
writing so the attorney can prepare answers ahead of time.
with your attorney.
If you are not happy with your attorney, voice your concerns. Remember,
this person is working for you. If a disagreement arises, first speak
directly with your attorney to see if the matter can be resolved.