We got a new item at Adolph Legal, which has inspired me to write this blog post. It is a prize wheel that secretly allows us to feel like contestants on the Wheel of Fortune. The Adolph Legal Wheel was originally acquired to decide what rewards staff members would receive for a job well done. Now, we use this wheel to help us make decisions, such as; where to eat lunch, what flavor of coffee to drink, or even which tie to wear to an event. While this creates a little fun during the day and encourages office bonding, it brings attention to how overwhelming daily decisions can be. The wheel gives us the freedom to take a mental break.
Making daily decisions can be hard enough, but selecting the right attorney to assist in your legal needs may be overwhelming. Simply typing “criminal defense attorney” or “family law attorney” into Google will bring up hundreds of options. It can be tempting to call the top few options, get a quick quote on the retainer and toss up the options on the wheel, give it a spin, and BAM! the wheel has spoken. However, there are many factors that go into a good attorney-client relationship that extend beyond the most affordable retainer.
When calling law firms, it’s important to take note of how you’re treated by the support staff as they will be your primary point of contact for scheduling, information, etc. The top question we receive is “What is the attorney’s retainer?” Please be aware that a retainer is to be considered a down payment towards your legal fees. This fee is required up front and is placed into a trust account. The attorney will then bill from the retainer at their hourly rate. Many forget to inquire on the hourly rate of the attorney. If one attorney has a lower retainer but higher hourly rate, your retainer will be exhausted quickly; thus, putting you in jeopardy of a possible disruption in representation or facing an unexpectedly large legal bill.
I want to encourage those seeking an attorney to ask more questions beyond the cost. How long has the attorney been practicing that area of law? How long has the attorney been practicing in the county? What is the protocol for speaking and meeting with the attorney? How long do you typically have to wait for a reply from the law firm? Do not hesitate to be clear on what your expectations are for the outcome of your case as it will help determine if you and the attorney will be a good fit. Most importantly, you need to hire an attorney who you are comfortable with.
At Adolph Legal, our attorneys offer in-person or telephone consultations. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to speak with their potential attorney before making the important decision of retaining Adolph Legal. The attorney you choose will help shape your future. It is vital that you trust your attorney throughout the process. By asking the right questions to the attorneys you speak with, you will better understand your case.
While I would recommend spinning the Adolph Legal Wheel to determine where you should eat lunch next week, I would never suggest allowing the wheel to determine your attorney. It is an important and lasting relationship that directly affects your best interests in life. It is a decision that must be about more than cost.
We encourage you to call Adolph Legal and ask the tough questions. We truly want to be the right choice for you. Please call us at (920) 634-2212.