When you find yourself in a situation in which you require the assistance of an attorney, you might initially think whether the investment is worth it.
Whether you need an attorney to handle your divorce, your immigration status or to represent you when you’ve committed a crime, there are many benefits that easily outweigh the cost.
If you’re still unsure as to whether you need to hire an attorney or not, here are some of the top pros and cons that come with the choice.
Of course, your final decision will depend on your individual circumstances. But this could help you in the right direction for your needs:
Let’s start with the pros:
They Have Experience
When looking for an attorney, pay attention to the amount of experience that you have.
High-quality attorneys will have at least 20 years of experience. However, the majority of them will have at least 5 or 10 years under their belt. Because of this experience, you can have the peace of mind that they have dealt with similar cases before – making them very capable at what they do.
They Know The Law
To become an attorney, you need to go to university and sit exams in order to be qualified. This, along with the experience that they accrue over the years means that they know the law inside and out.
With this knowledge, along with the substantive legal rules and what will win a case, make them invaluable to have by your side.
Giving you useful experience throughout the entirety of your case, you can rely on them to talk you through the process.
They Have Perspective
As attorneys work with so many clients over the years, they won’t get emotionally invested.
Because of this, they have a unique perspective that allows them to separate themselves from the emotions of the case – something that you, of course, might not be able to do. Through this, they will be able to evaluate the strength of your case, along with the plaintiffs.
They Know How To Negotiate A Settlement
Due to their formal training and experience, they will have the knowledge of how to negotiate a settlement that benefits you – or at least, helps with your case.
Now, with all cases, the chance of you coming out on top depends on your individual situation. But with an attorney by your side to help with your case, it’s more likely that you will be successful.
They Will Fill Out All The Important Paperwork
If you don’t hire an attorney, you’ll find yourself having to fill out all of the essential legal paperwork associated with your case.
Not only is this very time consuming, but it can be very confusing to understand if you’re unsure about the lingo. To make this process easier, hire an attorney and they will take care of this for you!
So are there any cons?
1) Expensive Legal Fees
Perhaps the key reason as to why people don’t like to hire an attorney is the fact that they tend to be expensive.
A costly legal process, you could find yourself with a big bill at the end of it. Of course, the price will depend on the type of attorney you hire along with their individual costs. But you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $600 an hour depending on your individual situation.
2) Sometimes a Paralegal or Law Clerk Will Fill In Your Paperwork
Sometimes, instead of the attorney filling in your legal documents, their paralegal or assistant law clerk will do this for them.
This means that you’ll be paying a large bill to only discover that someone that’s not them was in charge of your essential legal documents.
As people are put off by this thought, they often opt to hire a legal document assistant to help them with this process – not only will you then be 100% sure that had responsibility for this, but you won’t have to pay as much.
3) Not All Attorneys Are Competent
Unfortunately, many people opt for a less experienced attorney because they are cheaper.
But by hiring an inexperienced attorney, you’ll have the worry that they might not be as competent in dealing with your case – especially if they haven’t taken on one that’s very similar before. This could also lead to them making mistakes in the courtroom at your expense.
It’s clear that there are several pros and cons of hiring an attorney. And although the cons are the be-all-and-end-all for some, the pros will heavily outweigh them for others.
It’s important to know that certain legal cases can be handled without an attorney – such as seeking to evict a tenant or estate planning.
But other more complex cases (such as serious criminal cases or civil claims) arguably need the assistance of an experienced attorney.
How Do You Find A Trustworthy Attorney?
If you want to go forward with an attorney, there are certain things that you should look out for.
As aforementioned, experience is perhaps at the forefront of this. But there are other things that you should inquire with them about – which can be done during your initial consultation with them. This will help you to compare and contrast different professionals and make the choice a little easier:
- Find out how much they will charge you, along with how the fees are structured.
- Ask if there are any additional costs associated with the process – e.g copy fees, postage, filing fees, etc.
- Ask them – what is your track record? How many times have you been successful?
- Look at their CV – are they fully qualified?
- Ask them what type of cases they typically handle – do they align with yours?
- Ask them if they have any specialized knowledge.
- Find out how they approach each case, along with the timeline that they commonly work to.
- Ensure that they will keep you in the loop throughout the process.