How Can You Tell When You’ve Engaged an Excellent Private Commercial Law Firm in Israel?
You might be seeking business or corporate law advice. You could be drafting a personal document such as a last will and testament. You might be seeking legal counsel for a family matter such as a difficult divorce or a corporate matter such as a bankruptcy. It does not matter what your reasons are. You need to find a lawyer that fits the scope of the legal issues facing you.
But How Can You Be Sure You’ve Hired One of the Best Private Law Firms Israel Has To Offer?
1) Does the attorney offer a free consultation when you first meet him or her? Most reputable professional lawyers do so. This gives you a chance to size them up – the “blink” factor to decide whether they are appropriate representatives for your legal interests. You need to know for sure if this lawyer is the right one for you. Some people can tell within a few minutes of the meeting. Others take a little more time.
Is there an ability to listen senstively and “get you” or – in the case of a face-to-face meeting – is there eye contact? Do they appear to be distracted and unfocused on your needs or unable to get your drift? These are telltale signs they do not have the requisite care to represent your properly. Also, do you get a sense that they take your interests to heart? It could be that they are more interested in fees than in actual client service and providing a good value. Do they come highly recommended? Is their client list and book of business and experience sufficient? Are they willing to cut corners and put you in risky legal (and indeed unlawful or downright illegal) positions? Playing fast and loose with the law is a sign they might bend the rules to get what they want. Is that the type of person you want representing you? Are you going to be able to sleep at night with that kind of legal representation? Do they truly have your back and your best interests at heart?
2) Is the law firm responsive and detailed in their responses to you? Ask them if they mind you calling to see how things are going by way of update. Most credible lawyers do not mind as long as you stay on task and do not call too much. Do they hem and haw at the idea of you calling them even once? That could be a sign that they are not going to be someone you can trust to take good care of you and your important matters.
The right lawyer is going to be communicative. He or she will also relate to your thoughts and cares with the utmost attention to detail and sensitivity. A lawyer who does the opposite is not someone you can or should trust.
3) You should discuss cost in advance before you move forward in any way. Be thorough with your questions and try to play out alternative scenarios. Better yet, the lawyer him- or herself should be eager and willing to do so for you. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Ask them about fees and how they expect to be paid.
What Should You Expect by Way of Billing?
You should expect fixed price project or monthly billing – clear to you in advance, no nasty shocks.
You should expect to sign a contract with the firm, called an engagement letter. What happens if the firm does not offer a contract? You need to have something in writing. A commitment on the firm letterhead works well. You should have some kind of agreement including typical and indeed maximum fees and charges listed. It becomes a case of “he said, she said” when you fail to have something in writing.
4) You need someone with valuable experience. Steer clear of those who are fresh our of law school. We all need to learn the ropes, but a good lawyer apprentices him- or herself to experienced attorneys first to learn the trade from expert practitioners. And even then, lawyers need to take on smaller matters first before they handle larger ones.