Sponsored by Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper LLP
If you’re looking for a lawyer, chances are you’ve got an important situation on your hands. The truth is, not all lawyers are created equally, and not all lawyers will be the right lawyer for you. Choosing the right lawyer deserves careful consideration. Here are 5 things to think about before you hire a lawyer:
Experience in your area of need
If you need a lawyer to help you with a real estate transaction, someone with 15 years of experience exclusively in the area of personal injury is definitely not your best option. You need a real estate lawyer! You should hire someone with experience navigating the complexities of real estate law. Additionally, if your legal situation is unique to northern Canada, you need someone who understands the north and who will be sensitive to how things work here. Working with a new lawyer is fine – everyone has to start somewhere – but make sure the new lawyer has access to an experienced lawyer in the same area who can serve as a valuable resource for your case.
A solid record of success
Experience may not be helpful unless it comes with a record of success. Before you hire a lawyer, ask how many cases they’ve handled like yours, whether they had successful outcomes, and what success in your case would look like. While details of past cases are confidential, the lawyer should be able to give you a general sense of their record with cases like yours.
It’s important for lawyers to keep clients informed throughout the legal process. At Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper LLP, we believe law is a helping profession. Communicating with our clients is essential to their understanding all important steps taken in their cases. Any lawyer you hire should be able to explain in plain language what they’ll do for you and when you can expect to hear from them. You shouldn’t have to chase your lawyer for an update on your case.
This has become somewhat of a cliché because so much lawyer advertising is based on the idea that “we care.” Yes, the phrase may be overused, but the truth is, caring matters. Caring may actually be a good measure of how carefully and hard a lawyer will work for you. When you’re talking to a potential lawyer, ask yourself if they seem to empathize with your situation, while remaining objective enough to serve as an advocate. You want a lawyer who wants the best for you.
It’s no good to you if your lawyer tells you that everything will work out in your favour when that may not be likely, or even possible. Imagine a criminal defence lawyer telling you that they’ll fix everything no problem, and then finding yourself in jail! Ask the lawyer you want to hire about possible outcomes for you and your case, and to give you realistic advice about your situation. This means that a good lawyer may tell you things you don’t want to hear, but only in the best interest of your case.
Alan Regel, lawyer at Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper LLP
Alan Regel is a criminal defence, civil litigation, and regulatory lawyer at Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper LLP (AWOC). He is experienced, has a solid record, is an excellent communicator, and gives realistic advice. He cares about his clients and he will care about you!
Alan is available by appointment at AWOC’s Yellowknife office. He frequently travels throughout the territories and can also be reached at the firm’s primary office in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Call the toll free number 1-844-505-4808 extension 2903 to speak with him.
The AWOC law team