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How to choose an attorney


Selecting an attorney is an important decision. If your matter is important enough for you to need an attorney, you want the best attorney you can find.

Consider qualifications

Not all attorneys are the same. Levels of competence, degree of specialization, and experience vary greatly among attorneys. You should assure yourself that the attorney you chose to handle your matter is qualified to assist you.

Do you like the attorney?

Further, attorneys have different personalities. Your relationship with your attorney is often a personal one, a marriage of sorts. Make sure the attorney you choose is a person you want to spend some time with.

Were you Impressed?

Your first impressions are often correct. A few questions to ask yourself: Did the attorney talk to you personally, or did you only meet an assistant? Is the attorneys office reasonably neat and clean? Is the attorneys staff competent? Does the attorney limit his or her practice to certain fields? Was the attorney polite and professional?

Fee Structures

Attorney fee structures typically vary with the type of case. Criminal cases are usually done on a flat rate structure. However, the flat rate may be graduated as the case progresses. That is, a different flat rate may apply to each stage. You should be aware that attorneys' fees and "costs" are two separate and distinct things. A cost is something the attorney pays for, such as filing fees, investigation costs and the like. Ordinarily it does not include attorney office overhead items, but some attorneys do charge for office overhead items.

NOTICE: This general information sheet is not intended to guide you in the defenses of your particular case or provide legal advice as to your particular case. Each case is different. For legal advice on the particulars of your case, you should consult an attorney. To speak to an experienced attorney please contact Roberts & Elliott, LLP at (408) 275-9800
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