Interviewing potential lawyers


Doing a background check on lawyers you might hire isn’t enough. You need to interview each candidate. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you provide a free initial consultation? If not, how much does it cost?
  • What type of fee arrangement do you require? Hourly fee? Contingency fee based on success of action?
  • How do you bill expenses?
  • What type of cases or matters do you generally handle?
  • Have you handled cases or matters similar to mine? 
  • What percentage of your business consists of similar cases or matters? 
  • How many cases or matters like mine have you handled?
  • When did you last take a similar case or matter?
  • How long have you been in practice? 
  • In what states are you licensed to practice? 
  • Have you ever been investigated or disciplined by state authorities?
  • Can you describe your typical client?
  • Can you provide the names and contact information of the three most recent clients whose cases or matters were similar to mine?
  • If you can’t take my case or matter can you provide references to other lawyers who might?
  • Will you handle my case or matter personally or will others on your staff work on the case?
  • What percentage of the work on my case or matter will be handles by paralegals or your staff?
  • What is your current workload? Will you have sufficient time to devote to my case or matter?
  • Are there alternatives to a suit for solving my problem, such as arbitration?
  • What is your philosophy for these types of cases or matters? 
    • Are you looking for a compromise settlement that works or are you looking to go to court for a potentially bigger judgement?
  • How often and how will you keep me informed of what’s going on with my case or matter?
  • What is the likely outcome to my case or matter?