Working With a Lawyer: 6 Important Expectations

Michael Hearing

Michael Hearing


What to expect when working with a lawyer are the qualities that’ll make them good. Whatever the legal issue, you should ensure that you hire the right lawyer, the one who will offer a pleasant experience. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated, having wasted time, and with the wrong attorney.

The first step is to have a list of qualities your lawyer should have.

Qualities of a Good Lawyer

Good communication skills

When working with a lawyer, you should expect your lawyer to have great written and spoken communication, well as willingness and skill in listening. An eloquent lawyer can adequately represent you during court proceedings, clearly articulating your arguments and using his listening skills to understand and poke holes in the other side’s case. 

Written communication skills will come in handy when you need contracts drafted. Additionally, impressive written skills will assure that your legal documents are concise, persuasive, and clear.

Great Research Skills

Inadequate discovery of facts constitutes about 8.8% of legal malpractice mistakes. Lawyers are sued for failing to discover facts that they should have had they done a careful and thorough investigation.

Working with a lawyer who lacks great research skills may lead to loss of your case. Don’t overlook their ability to read through a forensic report and understand it, to comb through an agreement, and knowledge of similar cases including their outcomes and strategies used.

Judgment and Analytical Skills

If your lawyer can’t absorb a lot of information, distill it into something meaningful, and draw a clear and logical conclusion, then you shouldn’t work with them.

How do you know they are analytical?

This is evident whenever lawyers make their arguments whether in court or in the terms of the agreement to merge, for example. Once you settle on a potential lawyer, read some of their documents and arguments in court, analyze them, and calculate their success rate. You could also get the court schedule to find out when they are making their submissions on another case and then watch them in action.

Usually, lawyers with great success rates make good judgments and are critically analytical.

Ethical Conduct

On average, an attorney should expect at least three legal malpractice claims in his career. This means that you can’t dismiss a potential lawyer if they’ve had a malpractice claim. 

Find out the nature and number of the claims, as well as the outcomes of the cases. 

Malpractice questions should be among the questions to ask your lawyer in the first meeting. Make your expectations clear when interviewing to ensure that they operate within the legal code of ethics, such as maintaining different accounts for the lawyer and client, avoiding conflict of interest, making only factual representations, and always operating within the law.

People Skills

You should feel comfortable working with a lawyer. So assess whether they are pleasant, approachable, and persuasive.

They should also be able to read others, including reactions and gestures, to make good judgments about the character. 

No Hidden Fees

A good lawyer shouldn’t keep asking you for more money. Legal and other related fees should be clear from the outset and detailed in writing.

There’s Nothing Wrong with Having Expectations

Having reasonable expectations when working with a lawyer is important as it helps you begin your working relationship on the right foot and increase your chances of having your legal issues properly sorted out.

To arrive at that happy outcome, you just need to know what to expect when working with a lawyer.

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