As a member of the legal profession and having spent more than a few hours in court and across the table from other attorneys, I can tell you that choosing the right lawyer is critical to the success of any legal matter. It can be the difference between settling, winning or losing a case, and let’s face it, nobody wants to be on the losing end.
Firstly, it is important to understand that the legal system is complex and that no lawyer can guarantee success in any given matter. Any lawyer who makes such a guarantee should be viewed with suspicion. That being said, a good lawyer should be able to provide their client with a realistic, reasonable, and balanced prospect of success, based on their experience and knowledge of the law.
When looking for a lawyer, there are a few things you should consider. For sure, you want someone who is respectful and polite. A lawyer who is courteous and respectful will not only represent you well in court but will also earn you the respect of the judge and fellow associates. After all, nobody likes a lawyer who is rude and abrasive. It’s best, in my experience, to stick objectively to the facts and leave emotions at the door.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lawyer who can intimidate the opposition, you might want to consider the aggressive, bombastic type. These lawyers are not afraid to push the boundaries and will do whatever it takes to win. However, be warned, their approach can sometimes backfire and they may end up alienating the judge and the colleagues involved. Quite frankly, fighting for a client’s interest doesn’t mean you have to be obnoxious.
Then there is this large chunk in the middle trying to do their best – the unobtrusive, hard workers who will put in the hours to make sure your case is prepared as best as it can be. They may not be flashy or over the top, but they get the job done. This type of lawyer is also open to negotiation and hearing the other side, which can be invaluable when it comes to resolving disputes.
Cost is often a major concern for clients when it comes to legal matters. It is important to understand that litigation can be expensive, and that clients should be prepared for the costs involved. However, it is also important to weigh the potential benefits of litigation against the costs. A good lawyer should be transparent about their fees and billing practices, and should be able to provide their client with an estimate of the costs which may be involved but don’t confuse this with a quote.
Furthermore, the length of a legal matter can vary greatly, depending on the complexity of the matter and the court in which it is heard. Some matters can be resolved relatively quickly, while others can drag on for years. Again, a good lawyer should be able to provide their client with a realistic estimate of how long a matter could take, based on their experience. Beware the lawyer that drags matters on for months or years, without explanation, racking up your client bill that may force you to take out a second mortgage.
Ultimately, the approach that a lawyer takes can make or break a case. A realistic approach is key, and it’s important that your lawyer gives you honest advice about your chances of success and the best process to adopt. You don’t want to be given false hope or unrealistic expectations, as this will only lead to disappointment. In my experience, much more can be achieved through proper preparation. Knowing the matter inside out and being able to see the strengths and weaknesses in your case and the other side’s case is vital. This will allow you to negotiate from a position of strength and, if necessary, present a convincing argument in court or at a mediation / settlement negotiation.
Ultimately, a good lawyer should be focused on achieving the best possible outcome for their client, and in my experience, the parties who behave like gentlemen and gentlewomen often achieve much better results. So, do your research, ask for recommendations and make sure you choose wisely.
Your case, and your future, depend on it.
- If anyone from the legal profession resonates with the personalities mentioned in this article it is sheer coincidence.
- For those seeking legal advice, if you happen to meet a lawyer who seems like the lovechild of Godzilla and Elle Woods, it’s probably just a coincidence.
Seriously though, while this article pokes a little fun at various personality types you might encounter in the legal profession, it’s important to remember that every lawyer is unique. So please don’t take anything in this article too seriously, and always consult with a qualified legal professional for advice on your legal matters.
Thanks for reading!