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Just as early consultation is important in determining whether you have a legal problem, it is also important in deciding which lawyer can best deal with your particular legal issue. The selection of a lawyer should be based on several considerations, including experience, cost and convenience. A key factor should be your ability to work effectively and comfortably with your lawyer. The relationship established between you and your lawyer should be based on trust. Your lawyer owes you the full benefit of his or her legal training and experience. You owe your lawyer a full and fair disclosure of all the facts and nuances concerning your case, both the unfavorable and the favorable sides of the issue. Without these components of a good lawyer-client relationship, your lawyer cannot effectively advise and represent you.

Remember, when you hire a lawyer, he or she will be working for you. The lawyer should be genuinely interested in your problem and in giving you the best possible advice. The lawyer may not be able to accomplish everything you want because of the facts or the law that applies in your case. Many times a good lawyer will advise you to avoid court action. A lawyer should be able to explain, in terms you can understand, what he or she hopes to accomplish for you and how he or she plans to do it.

Think about how the lawyer responded to your questions, about his or her experience, and about whether you will be able to work with the lawyer in the way you would like.

Based on your initial consultation, you should consider the following factors before agreeing to hire a lawyer:

Personality — Do you get along well with and trust the person?
Experience — Are you satisfied with the amount of experience the lawyer has had with your type of problem?
Communication skills — Could you talk with and understand the lawyer easily?
Ability to pay — Can you afford to pay the lawyer according to the fee arrangements you discussed?

If you are satisfied with your answers to these questions, it is likely that a sound basis for working together has been established between you and your lawyer.