You may have noticed that most lawyers offer a free consultation over the phone or in person which allows you to discuss your case in detail. This gives the lawyer an opportunity to assess your claim to see whether it stands a chance in court. It also gives you the opportunity to gather more information about them.

Here are some important questions to ask during a consultation.

How long have they been working as a lawyer?

The first inquiry you should make must be about their experience, you’ll want to know how long the lawyer has been practicing law. Some cases are particularly sensitive, especially if you are looking for sexual assault lawyers or child custody solicitors. You’ll want to hire someone with experience, a person who also has compassion and knowledge dealing with sensitive cases. Some cases can be dealt with by an inexperienced lawyer fresh out of university, while others require more expertise.

What is their area of expertise?

If your case involves harmful medical practices, then you’ll need a lawyer who specialises in medical negligence claims, and not someone who has a history of dealing with immigration law. There is no point in hiring an adoption lawyer to work on a personal injury claim or sexual assault case. It is important to find out about their background history, you’ll need an individual who has plenty of experience dealing with cases similar to yours.

Who do they typically represent?

This is an important question to ask any lawyer, as you’ll be able to find out where you stand in the pecking order of clients. If the person you speak to generally deals with high-end, wealthy business corporations, do you think your case will take priority over theirs?

A lawyer who deals with a certain type of clientele that aren’t like you, may not give your case the attention it deserves, especially if there is a considerable financial incentive involved. If there is more money to be made with those clients, your case may will take a back seat.

Do they have a good track record?

When you attend a meeting with a lawyer, they’ll ask you all kinds of questions about your case, some may even feel intrusive, but this is done to establish the facts and see whether you’ve got a legitimate claim on your hands. So, don’t be shy when asking the lawyer questions. You’ll want to know whether they have a good track record, so don’t be afraid to make inquiries.

How will I be charged?

Obviously knowing how much you’ll be charged is an important question to ask any lawyer. You’ll need to know whether you can afford the lawyer and what kind of billing structure they use.

The questions you ask potential lawyers should be customised to suit your needs. You’ll want to find someone with years of experience in dealing with cases like yours, especially if it’s a sensitive matter that requires special attention. Ask as many relevant questions as you like, the answers will help you make a more informed decision.