A Guide to Hiring a Lawyer
Are you looking to hire a new lawyer? You may be asking yourself; how do I find the right lawyer for me? To start, experience is certainly important, but it isn’t the only thing you need to consider when deciding which lawyer to retain.
Conducting a few Google or Yelp searches and hastily selecting a firm or practitioner based on a lawyer’s profile, or how slick the firm’s website looks could end up costing you more in the long run. We’ve prepared this short article to summarize some key points for you to consider if you’re trying to find a lawyer in Vancouver (or anywhere else in the world for that matter.) The following tips and suggestions are aimed at making the task of hiring a new lawyer for yourself or your business a smooth process, which could potentially save you time and money.
Some basic guidelines to follow when looking for the right fit:
What’s important to you should be important to them. In short, it is extremely beneficial (if not crucial) to find a lawyer you feel comfortable with. When “interviewing” a potential lawyer, it is a good idea to look for somebody who:
- you can communicate with effectively and honestly
- understands your language and temperament
- you get along with, and feel comfortable around
- is respectful of you and your time, and vice versa
Compatibility is key. If you are able to build a rapport with your lawyer, have a friendly relationship where you can both easily communicate your needs and expectations, it is less likely that either of you will end up wasting the other’s time at any point down the line.
Referrals are one of the best ways to connect with a decent, qualified lawyer these days. Ask people in your network and your community who you trust for recommendations. Compile a list of a few prospects based on the lawyers’ areas of expertise and experience, and from there, proceed to conduct your own research.
Interviewing a prospective lawyer:
The next step is to reach out to each candidate and speak to them directly. Most lawyers will be willing to meet with you for an initial consult at no charge, so that you can both ensure it will be beneficial to move forward.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you feel are necessary to make an informed decision. We have prepared the following list of some things you may want to ask. This list provides a good starting point, but keep in mind, your specific situation could call for further inquiries.
- Their experience in relation to your needs
- Other areas of law the firm covers, should your legal needs expand in the future
- Fees: estimate for services you are seeking; hourly rates; rates of other lawyers and support staff involved on your file; fee structures/do they offer flat fees for certain matters; what sort of additional costs you can expect
- Billing: how often will you be billed; what forms of payment are accepted
- What to expect regarding retainer payment/agreement, and terms of engagement
- Communication: how will you be communicating; can you expect to communicate directly with your lawyer or their assistants; how quickly can you expect a response
- Can they provide references
- Anything else you would like to know regarding expectations and timelines
Visiting the Office:
When possible, requesting a brief tour of the lawyer’s office space following your initial meeting is worth considering. Strolling through an office that looks tidy and well-run, with friendly and helpful employees, as opposed to one that appears disorderly, with unhappy staff, could have a significant influence on your final decision. It will not take you long to gauge the energy at the firm. A positive energy is likely a good indication that everyone in the firm is treated with respect, which is how you will want to be treated by lawyers, paralegals, and the team at the firm.
If you need further guidance, there are likely several resources available in your city or town to assist you with your search. For example, for Vancouver, BC, we have compiled the following list of recommended local sources to start your search:
- Finding a Lawyer | The Law Society or British Columbia
- Lawyer Directory | The Law Society of British Columbia
- Find-a-Lawyer – Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch)
- Find-a-Lawyer – Canadian Bar Association
- Hiring a Lawyer – Province of British Columbia
Making a final decision:
If all goes well, these guidelines will lead you to your perfect match! There are lots of good lawyers out there, who truly care about their clients and building genuine lasting relationships. The key is to spend some time at the onset to find the right lawyer for you. If you have any questions regarding any of the above, or if you’re interested in connecting with one of our lawyers in our Vancouver office, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 604-629-5400 or via email at [email protected] or by visiting our Vancouver, BC office in 905 West Pender St.
To learn more about the Segev team, and the wide variety of services we offer, we encourage you to check out our practice areas below:
Pre-finance Due Diligence for Investors and Companies
Esports and Video Game Law
Estate and Personal Planning
Gaming and Betting Law
Real Estate and Construction
Technology and IP Law