We believe it important to find a reasonably priced attorney who is most qualified to handle your case. Thankfully, here at GetFairHousing, we’ve done much of that legwork for you.
Before hiring any lawyer, consider asking these questions:
- Is the attorney a specialist or generalist?
- Has the lawyer handled cases like yours before?
- What different outcomes are possible?
- How long should you expect to retain their services?
- How often will you be billed, and what's the lawyer's estimation for fees and services?
- Will you be kept inform of the case’s progress?
- Is the lawyer covered by malpractice insurance?
Ground Rules Matter
Outcomes can run the gamut, so an open line of communication is important. Discuss your expectations, your “dream outcome,” and other acceptable outcomes.
Also, consider discussing the following:
- What is the maximum amount in legal fees you want to pay?
- When is the latest/earliest you want the legal matter attended to?
- What is the minimum amount of settlement you will agree to?
- What is the worst way you think your case can end?
Once ground rules are established, develop a strategic plan (fees will be incurred) which may include:
- What the plan is and what results it should probably produce
- Why it's the best possible plan
- How long the plan will probably take, from beginning to end
- How much it will probably cost to implement the plan
- What special circumstances might require deviation from the plan
A strategic plan might be in your best interest. In the long run, you might be saving yourself a good deal of money. As for the cost of drafting the plan, you can instruct your lawyer up front to spend only a certain amount of money on drafting the plan.
Keep Reviewing Your Costs
Lawyer's services by the hour are rarely cheap, so keep a close eye on how your money is being spent. Here are a few tips to minimize your costs:
- Right from the start, tell your lawyer all that you know.
- Keep copies of important documents in your own files.
- Changing lawyers after the legal process has started can be very expensive.
- Understand the fee agreement you and your lawyer agree upon, and question unclear charges before you pay them.
- Be prepared and honor deadlines at all your meetings.