1. What type of cases do you generally handle?
This is a question you should ask right off the bat. If the attorney doesn’t specialize (or regularly work) on cases relating to your legal issue, find someone else! There are plenty of lawyers out there, so find one that is in your niche. A specialized lawyer will have the experience and competence to represent and advocate for you.
2. Describe your typical client.
Even if you find a lawyer who is specialized in a certain field, they still might regularly deal with clients different from you! For example, if you’re a business owner, you want to consult a business attorney for your legal issues. But, if this business lawyer’s typical clients are corporations with complex tax issues and you’re a small online business trying to set up an LLC, this might not be the best fit for either of you. Don’t forget to ask this question to verify this attorney is right for you.
3. What are your attorney fees, and what are my payment options?
This is a question some feel awkward to ask, but DON’T! This is one of the most important things you can find out from the get-go! It will also likely help you determine if you want to hire them (or can afford to hire them) in the first place. With this question, you can also ask them if they bill clients by hour or project. Also, ask whether they will be completing the work themselves, or having legal assistants help.
4. How many cases have you represented that were similar to mine?
Asking a lawyer a straightforward question like this will yield a straightforward answer. The legal field is very much based on honesty and good character, so you will likely get an answer that is honest. It is always good to know whether your attorney has experience with cases similar to yours to guarantee they are competent to represent you. At minimum, guarantee that attorney has seen at least one or two clients with issues similar to yours.
5. What kind of special training or education do you have in addition to your law degree?
There are certain areas of the law that require additional school or training to become competent in that niche. For example, tax lawyers go to an additional year of school. If your legal issues are complex (like IRS issues) check with your attorney to see if they have an additional training or education related to your issues.