What is the number one question people ask when looking to hire a lawyer?
How many cases do you win?
But, this will only give you a meaningless answer. Here’s why:
Lets say you see two lawyers. The first one tells you he wins 50% of the time. The other lawyer tells you he wins 70% of the time.
Is Mr. 70% more capable of winning your case? Not necessarily.
Lawyers know that giving you better win/loss records is good marketing. But, does it translate to better lawyer? Lawyers often take or refuse cases based on how they will reflect on their win loss records. Some attorneys will only take slam-dunk cases. Do you want an attorney who only takes easy cases. Do you want a lap dog, or a pit bull?
How about the attorney who only wins half the time. Does this put you off? Just because an attorney gives you lower win/loss record does not mean that attorney will not fight tooth and nail to give you the best chances of winning. It may just mean that lawyer takes cases other lawyers won’t touch. Winning 50% of tough cases means a lot more than winning 70% of easy cases.
So, how do you know if the lawyer takes easy cases or tough case. You don’t. That is what makes focusing on win/loss records such a bad idea.
So, what should I ask a lawyer during my initial consultation?
A better question to ask at the consultation is, “what are the problems in my case and how can we fix them.”
The lawyer’s answer to THAT question, will tell you a lot more about that attorney and whether you really want to have that person handle your case.
It will tell you whether the lawyer really knows the law and can work out a plan of attack to fix the weaknesses in your case and build on the strengths.