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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jan 5, 2016

When facing a legal matter, especially one that’s new to you, you might be a bit uncertain about how the situation is going to play out. If you’ve hired an attorney to help you resolve the matter, you may also be wondering what to expect from the legal counsel you’re paying for. Here’s an outline to help you gauge the level of service you’re receiving.

Basic Expectations You Should Have of Your Attorney

Communication. 
While most attorneys are working on several cases at once, and some restrictions exist in regards to how your attorney communicates with you, in general, you should expect to get an overview of your case whenever you request it. In addition, you should also expect your attorney to respond to your requests in a timely manner. If you don’t get a timely response, your attorney should also provide you with a reason why.

Competency. 
In addition to timely communication, you should expect your attorney to have a reasonable amount of competency at the job for which you hired him or her. Competency relates to the core knowledge and expertise of an attorney in handling a client’s legal issue. Attorneys are human beings who are just as capable of mistakes as anyone else, and there’s no guarantee of flawless work, but you should expect a reasonable degree of expertise, especially since most attorneys specialize in a particular branch of law.

Ethics. 
While every jurisdiction is different, there are some commonalities to all of them. Attorneys are required to:

  • Maintain the attorney-client privilege
  • Perform their duties to the degree of a reasonably competent attorney
  • Represent their client’s interests loyally
  • Work within the bounds of the law
  • Maintain separate bank accounts for client money
  • Not engage in any criminal activities
  • Put their client’s interests ahead of their own

Clarity on Fees. The first thing that you should do upon hiring your attorney is to make sure that you get the fee agreement in writing that you can understand. If a term is unclear to you, ask the attorney to re-write it. Even if your state doesn’t require a written fee agreement, it is still a good idea to have one.

There are many situations where it’s highly advisable to speak to an experienced attorney. It’s also important to know what to expect from professional legal counsel.