If you are looking for someone to fix your plumbing, will you hire a cook to do it? Probably not! Similarly, how will you know if you are hiring the right lawyer for your specific legal problem or issue?

If you have never contacted a lawyer before, here are our 5 top tips to help you find the right lawyer for you:

  1. Consider the nature of your legal issue. Choose a lawyer who indicates that he/she practices in the legal practice area which relates to your issue.
  2. Consider the professional category of your lawyer. Certain types of legal instructions, for instance, legal court matters, are reserved for certain types of lawyers.
  3. Consider the seniority and work experience of your lawyer. Senior lawyers generally have more experience in dealing with complex matters. Some junior lawyers work under the supervision of senior lawyers. Legal fees often depend on the seniority of the lawyer responsible and the complexity of the matter.
  4. Consider your lawyer’s fee structure and payment terms. Except when tariffs apply, lawyers are free to indicate the basis on which they charge clients. Some lawyers prefer to indicate an hourly rate and work on a time-billing basis. Other lawyers prefer to agree on the scope of instruction and fixed costs upfront. Many lawyers are negotiable on fees.
  5. Consider for which lawyers you pay deposits. Only Practising Attorneys and Trust Account Advocates are obliged to operate a Trust Account and hold a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate in terms of the Legal Practice 28 of 2014.

Before appointing a lawyer, do not hesitate to ask your lawyer questions on these aspect.

If you need further tips on how to search or find a lawyer for your matter, you are welcome to contact manager@lawyersworkingsmart.co.za.