Today I’m going to talk about the topic that is probably the first and most important topic for you and that’s how to choose a good lawyer and what do you need to collect or know in advance of going to see this lawyer. So there are many things you need to look at. First of all, how do you pick the lawyer because not all lawyers are equal. A lawyer that has one year of experience is not equal to a lawyer with 25 years of experience, like myself. There are lawyers who do certain areas and don’t do other areas so you want to chat with them and find out what they specialize in. You want to make sure that you consult in person with this lawyer. It’s better than consulting over the phone. If you live in another state you may only be able to consult over the phone. You want to ask about their success rate you want to check them out on Google and check their rating.
What do you want to hear from them? If they are telling you yes yes yes we can do this but they’re not giving you any information. Maybe they are not the best lawyer to choose. You want an honest opinion. You want a lawyer that will treat you like they would treat their own family.
So what do you need to bring before you speak to the lawyer because if you don’t bring documents, lawyers look at documents. You may not remember or understand from your prior experiences what happened in your case. You need to know and the lawyer needs to know what happened. First of all always bring your passport, bring your visa, if you have a 994 bring that, bring your birth certificate, bring your divorce decree, bring any marriage certificates, death certificates ,if you have a criminal record be sure to bring that and try to bring a certified criminal record because these documents are very important. They will determine whether the lawyer will proceed in one way or another way or they may just tell you this is probably not a case that you should pursue.
So what do you need to bring other than these basic and biographical documents to your lawyer? You want to bring updated documents. So I always like to find out from the client what was the last document you had? What was the last decision you got, is there a deadline? Do you have any court decisions? Do you have any documents from the US like new birth certificates or children here? You will need to bring expungements if you have those and also the certified criminal records. The lawyer should look at those. If they aren’t looking at those then they probably don’t understand criminal records and aren’t the right lawyer for you. You want to find a lawyer that has done the kind of case you have and has that kind of case many times and does it on a regular basis.
You want to see if they have procedural information they can tell you about and talk about your case specifically. How will they approach your problem? These are questions you want to ask. What is the procedure and the steps you’re going to take? Are there options because sometimes there’s many different ways to take. Look at timelines, how long is this going to take? What are the problems and pitfalls? Clients never want to hear about the problems and pitfalls but I always tell my clients because I want them to know the difficulties they will encounter. I also like to tell them the things they would like to avoid.
If nobody asks you this information, perhaps they just don’t have the experience to ask you. Or perhaps they just don’t know.
Sometimes it’s hard to determine timelines because there are lots of things that can affect the timeline, even down to the judge on the case.
So you’re looking at all of these factors and if they lawyer says this case can’t be done, you need to ask them why and then get a second opinion. It could be that this lawyer has done these cases in the past and they just don’t work or again because they don’t have enough experience to be successful.
These are some of the factors you want to consider when hiring a lawyer and when coming to see a lawyer about the feasibility of your case so they can give you their best advice.
For more information about your case, contact us today!