Tips for appointing an attorney

Appointing an attorney can be a daunting task and we hope that the guidelines we have compiled assist you in making that important decision.

1. Is the attorney a specialist in the area of law in which you are seeking advice?

It is unlikely that you would agree to be treated by a podiatrist for a heart bypass, and in the same way, you should seek specialist advice in matters of employment law. There is no substitute for experience, and while a specialist may appear to be more costly than a general practitioner, you will save funds in the long run. You should also check whether your attorney belongs to any specialist professional organizations, which may help you in determining his or her suitability.

2. Will you be able to build an ongoing relationship with the attorney?

Litigation can be lengthy and time consuming, and it is important that you feel comfortable with your attorney. Your attorney acts on your instructions, and it is crucial that he or she is able to explain all aspects of your case to you in an easy to understand way, so you are able to make informed decisions.

3. Is the attorney open and upfront about fees and the terms and conditions under which he or she renders services to you?

Legal services can be costly and you need to know upfront how you will be charged to ensure that fee disputes do not cause holdups as your case proceeds. You should also be aware of the terms and conditions under which the attorney will render services to you so that you know at the outset what you can expect from your attorney and what he or she requires of you. If you are not sure, ask for a copy of the firm’s terms and conditions.

Sometimes the legal costs involved in pursuing a matter outweigh the benefits that you seek to recover. Be cautious of an attorney who does not take the cost implications, your personal circumstances and the practicalities of litigation into consideration when providing you with advice on whether or not to institute legal action.

4. Is the attorney accessible to you?

While it is not possible for your attorney to be available to you twenty-four hours a day, good communications such as regular and consistent feedback and prompt responses to telephone and email messages are essential. You should not have to chase after your attorney as he or she is rendering a service to you for which you are paying. You should judge an attorney’s suitability for you in the way your initial enquiry is handled and followed up and by asking upfront how the attorney intends to communicate with you during the progress of your case.

Do you have any further questions? Feel free to contact us.