Five Things to Look For When Hiring an Attorney, Part 4: Availability
There are many qualities that make for successful attorney-client relationships. If you have a case, you want an attorney that possesses as many of these qualities as possible.
Previously in this series, we have discussed three particular things to look for when searching for an attorney: experience; appropriate legal fees; and communication. This week, we’ll add another in the fourth part of this series: availability.
What does it mean for an attorney to be available? And why does this matter?
What Availability Means for Attorneys
Availability means two things:
- The attorney will be the one who actually represents you in your case
- The attorney will be responsive at all times to you
It may be hard to believe, but many attorneys with larger firms – especially in the personal injury practice – don’t actually handle the cases themselves. They may be the advertising front-man, but in reality, one of their associates does most, if not all, of the work.
Further, an attorney should be responsive to you at all times, and keep up clear lines of two-way communication with you, their client. The relationship between an attorney and a client is an important one – crucial, even – when it comes to the success of your case. The more you communicate, the more successful the outcome will be.
Why Availability Matters
No one wants an attorney who is distant, unapproachable, and unavailable.
If you’re embroiled in a legal action, the last thing you want is to not be able to reach your lawyer should you need him or her. After all, you likely have concerns and worries. You’ll undoubtedly have questions, often many of them. All you want are answers – and reassurance from time to time that your case is in good hands.
What’s the difference between communication and availability? Lawyers can have good communication in that they keep you apprised of what’s happening with your case – but that doesn’t mean they’re available to handle your concerns and answer your questions. And it doesn’t mean they are giving your case the personal, hands-on attention it deserves.
A responsive attorney can tremendously reduce stress and worry. An unresponsive attorney will only compound those concerns until they consume you.
Be careful when selecting your attorney, and try to find one who is not just dedicated to your case, but who is also dedicated to being available to you when you are in need.