Hiring a Lawyer
Most Canadians will require a lawyer’s services at some point in their lives, but very few understand the process of hiring one. Luckily, ExperiencedLawyers.ca is here to help. Our comprehensive Canadian lawyer directory is a great place to start your research, and we hope the following tips will make hiring a lawyer seem more manageable.
Step 1: Ask Yourself, “Do I Really Need a Lawyer?”
Lawyers play an important role in Canadian society and are highly-trained, highly-educated experts in their fields. As such, their services are expensive. Before you proceed with hiring a lawyer, take some time to consider your options and weigh the potential costs vs. the potential benefits. Not every “perceived” wrong necessitates launching a lawsuit. The economics need to work to be worthwhile.
Self-representation is an option but not recommended. As a layperson, you would be at an enormous disadvantage against a trained lawyer. Statistically, self-represented litigants in Canada do not do well in civil, family or criminal law matters.
Step 2: Consider Your Unique Needs
What do you hope to accomplish by hiring a lawyer? Do you require representation in a criminal trial? Are you seeking compensation for injuries suffered in an accident? Do you need help navigating a divorce or estate dispute? Most lawyers specialize in one or two areas of law, so you should limit your search to your specific area of need.
Consider also how much you are willing to pay your lawyer, how quickly you require results, how unusual or standard your case is, and what region of the country you would like your lawyer to be based in. These requirements will help focus your search.
Step 3: Research
The research phase is where a lawyer directory like ExperiencedLawyers.ca can really come in handy. Canadians no longer have to rely on word-of-mouth and print directories to find expert legal help. Today, a quick Google search will return troves of information including websites, social media profiles, blogs, directory listings, and online reviews for numerous lawyers in your region.
Learn as much as you can about each candidate, and then narrow your list to a preferred three or four. These are the lawyers that you should reach out to in person. Contact them by phone or email to arrange a face-to-face consultation where you can ask important questions and get a feel for personal dynamics.
Questions you may want to ask include:
- – Have you handled my kind of case before?
- – Are you a specialist in this area of law?
- – Can you provide references from satisfied clients?
- – Do you have the time and energy to make my case a priority?
- – How long do you expect this case to take, and how much will it cost?
- – What are the possible outcomes of my case?
- – What are the terms of our fee agreement?
Step 4: Review Your Options and Make a Decision
Once you’ve spoken with several lawyers, take some time to process what you’ve learned before making a decision. But don’t wait too long! In many fields of law, the sooner you are retain experienced counsel, the better.
When you feel comfortable and confident in your decision, reach out to your lawyer of choice to finalize the agreement. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you are confused – after all, they’re working for you.
If complications arise or you feel that your lawyer has not delivered an appropriate standard of service, your local law society can be a helpful resource. Organizations like the Law Society Ontario and the Law Society of British Columbia are tasked with regulating the legal profession in their jurisdictions and ensuring the public has access to justice. Please remember – There are no guarantees in law. Losing your case or not obtaining the exact outcomes you hoped for, does not mean your lawyer failed his/her professional obligation to you as a client.
ExperiencedLawyers.ca is a comprehensive lawyer directory featuring some of Canada’s most experienced and reputable personal injury, criminal, family, and real estate lawyers. Start your search for legal representation here.