If you are like the average citizen, it is not likely that you currently have an ongoing business relationship with a Kansas City lawyer. You may only want to hire a Kansas City lawyer a few times in your life, whether it is to write up a will or to help buy a house. If you are faced with a legal issue, the job of finding the right Kansas City lawyer can be very intimidating.
Researching Kansas City Lawyers
There are many different sources you can use to find the right Kansas City lawyer for your case. It is best to research a Kansas City lawyer before contacting any. You can start your search for a Kansas City lawyer through many different places:
You can get recommendations or referrals from family, friends or co-workers. If you know someone who has previously hired a Kansas City lawyer and he or she can vouch for the ability to handle a case like yours, you may want to consult with that Kansas City lawyer. While you may not feel comfortable sharing the reason why you need to hire a Kansas City lawyer, you should make sure to specify what type of Kansas City lawyer you need, for example a divorce or a criminal lawyer, so that you can get appropriate recommendations from other people.
You may also wish to get recommendations from the Missouri state bar and other local bar associations. These organizations may be able to provide you to a referral to a Kansas City lawyer. You should make sure to consider that these referrals are not endorsements for a particular Kansas City lawyer. The bar association will usually have a list of attorneys that have agreed to take referrals.
You can also try looking through a legal directory to find potential Kansas City lawyers for your case. A few clicks can get you a comprehensive list of attorneys in your local area, and will also have basic information such as background information and phone numbers.
Explaining your Legal Issue to a Kansas City Lawyer
Before you being getting recommendations for Kansas City lawyers or calling prospective Kansas City lawyer, you should find a way to quickly describe the reason you wish to hire a Kansas City lawyer. One or two lines are sufficient. For example, you may need a lawyer so that you can draw up wills because you got married recently, or perhaps you were hurt in an auto accident but the other driver will not pay the bills. When you finally meet the Kansas City lawyer in person, you will be able to explain your case in detail.
Choosing the Right Kansas City Lawyer
Not all Kansas City lawyers are interchangeable since not all Kansas City lawyers practice all areas of the law. You should be able to find a lawyer in Kansas City that specializes in your specific legal need. You should also consider what level of skill and service you require. If you have a basic legal problem, you may not need the most expensive, qualified lawyer. However, if your situation is very critical, , you may wish to spend more and hire a very skilled attorney to represent you.
Discussing Your Goals with a Kansas City Lawyer
After you have chosen several potential Kansas City lawyers for your case, e-mail or call them. Briefly discuss your problem, and schedule an initial consultation or first meeting with those who seem appropriate. For more basic legal needs, you may only wish to talk to one Kansas City lawyer. But for more complicated problems, you should talk to many different Kansas City lawyers before deciding on a Kansas City lawyer for your case.
At you first meeting, you will be able to talk about your legal problem in full detail. Ask the Kansas City lawyer about his or her experience with this particular type of case and have the lawyer gauge his or her success in the case. You should ask many questions to figure out if the Kansas City lawyer is right for you. Some great ones to ask include the following:
• How long have you practiced law in Missouri?
• What law school did you receive your law degree from and what year did you graduate?
• How much previous experience do you have in legal matters like mine?
• What specialties do you have or what types of law do you normally practice?
• What percent of your legal practice is devoted to cases similar to mine?
• Can you provide me with any references from former clients who have had success in similar legal matters?
• What kind of plan or strategy would you suggest for handling this case?
• What do you think are the potential outcomes of this case?
• For legal disputes, is a settlement, arbitration, or mediation an issue?
• How long will take to resolve this legal issue?
• What possible problems or obstacles do you think we might encounter?
Kansas City Lawyer Fees
Most Kansas City lawyers charge a contingency fee, hourly fee, or a flat fee. Contingency fees are typically found in legal matters where the client plans to receive compensation or money from another party. While you do not pay any money upfront to the Kansas City lawyer, you pay the Kansas City lawyer a percentage of the winnings you receive after your case is resolved. A flat fee is typically used predictable legal work, like handling an uncontested divorce or drafting a basic will. Hourly fees are typically used for legal work where the time or scope needed to handle the case is much less predictable.
When you meet with a Kansas City lawyer, you should let him or her know if you have a set budget that you wish to keep. You can also ask some pointed questions regarding how much the case will cost. Some questions to ask include the following:
• What fee structure do you use (Contingency fee? Hourly fee? Flat fee?)
• How much do you think the legal issue will cost?
• Are there any other legal expenses, and if so, about how much will they cost?
• About how much of the legal costs are out-of-pocket expenses?
• Can I somehow reduce the total legal expenses of my case?
• Do you need an upfront retainer payment for my case, and if so, how much do you need?
• When and how will you bill me?
• When will payment be due for my case?