5 Ways to Choose the Right Lawyer in Kamloops
Having the right lawyer can make a difference in whether you win or lose your case, but how do you find out which lawyer is best for you? When you’re looking for a lawyer in Kamloops, consider asking these five questions:
1) What is the lawyer’s and the law firm’s level of expertise in this area?
If you have a personal injury case or you want to develop a major commercial property for example, it’s critical your lawyer and law firm has experience in that field. To gauge a lawyer’s level of expertise, you can:
- Get a referral from someone in the industry. If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer with expertise in, say, broken backs or brain injuries, you could ask your massage therapist or physiotherapist about a particular lawyer’s reputation for expertise in the area.
- Get a referral from a lawyer with a general practice. The lawyer who did your will or house purchase is likely to know which of his or her peers to recommend as a lawyer in Kamloops for your particular case.
- Get a referral from one of their former clients. Talking to people who have hired the lawyer you’re considering gives you a chance to find out first-hand about how the lawyer’s background and knowledge helped their case. Moreover, this can give you a sense of whether the lawyer can help you.
- Ask the lawyer directly about their expertise. Ask how many years they’ve specialized in this area and how many cases they’ve handled. The more specifics they can—and should—give you, the better. Remember it’s perfectly acceptable to follow-up on information communicated on their website and in online searches. Lawyers who do have the expertise you’re looking for will be glad to share details about their background.
- Review their professional associations related to an area of speciality. It’s not necessary, but a lawyer who specializes in employment law may be a member of the employment law section of the Canadian Bar Association, for example.
2) What is the level of service I can expect?
Your case is incredibly important to you, and you’ll have questions and need advice often along the way. Asking about the level of service helps you find out what you can expect in terms of communication, including:
- Responses to phone calls and emails
- Status updates
Good lawyers tend to be very busy people, but they and their team also understand how important it is to answer your questions and keep you in the loop about your case.
If they’re not able to reach you directly, many have team members who help with communication, including assistants and paralegals, so be sure to ask how your lawyer responds to queries and whether or not you’ll have a direct phone line for them. Additionally, find out whether you will have to go through a receptionist who acts as a gatekeeper to restrict calls to the lawyer or whether you must go through an automated greeting system.
If you’re looking for a lawyer in Kamloops who can work with you remotely if you live elsewhere in BC, it’s also worth asking about their capabilities for video calls as face-to-face meetings, albeit online, are often helpful in important discussions. This leads us to the next question.
3) If I’m not in Kamloops, will I have to travel to you?
Depending on your case and where you live, you may need or want a lawyer with expertise in a certain area whose office is elsewhere. If you live in Williams Lake and you’re hiring a Kamloops lawyer, for example, you’ll want to get a sense early on of how much travel you might have to do to meet with your lawyer. A lot of work can be done electronically, but if lots of face-to-face meetings are required, proximity might be one of your considerations.
4) Do you have capacity to take on my case?
This is one question only the lawyer can answer, and you should feel comfortable asking it since their availability may have a big impact on the success of your case.
Most lawyers understand how important it is take on new cases only when they have capacity, so you can feel assured that they’re being honest when they answer this question. As we said above, good lawyers tend to be busy so their capacity may allow them to take your case but there may be delays caused by the lawyer’s other work. It’s okay to ask about the timelines, too.
5) How much will this cost?
For many clients, even having a ballpark sense of price can provide a sense of relief.
Real estate and straight-forward business transactions generally have a predictable price, so you should be able to get an accurate estimate quickly.
For a major litigation case or a human rights claim that will involve going to court or hearing for an extended time, a lawyer should be able to give you a price rounded to the nearest $5,000 to $10,000 thousand dollars. Asking for updates on pricing is okay because cost becomes easier to estimate as the case progresses.
For personal injury files, clients often aren’t paying up front, as the legal fees are paid when the case is resolved. Learn more about how lawyers can help ease the financial burden during personal injury claims in our post When should you reach out to a personal injury lawyer?
Are you looking for a lawyer in Kamloops with the expertise to help your case succeed? Gillespie & Co has an experienced, knowledgeable team of lawyers who specialize in personal injury, employment, real estate, corporate law and more. Reach out for your free consultation!