When you’ve already entered into the legal process with a lawyer, it can feel like an incredible challenge just to consider swapping lawyers, but sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to do.
Lawyers, like all professionals and all people, can be unreliable, inefficient, overworked, or simply disinterested. If you aren’t in the legal profession, you can’t blame yourself if you choose an unsatisfactory lawyer. Many lawyers present a glossy, professional front to hide their inadequacies in the legal sphere.
If you think you might have made a mistake during the hiring process, check your lawyer’s behavior against these potential signs.
- Your lawyer isn’t returning your phone calls
Your lawyer is probably busy, so maybe you can’t get them on the phone at a moment’s notice, but they really should be returning your calls within a day or two. If they can’t get back to you by then, your lawyer is either seriously overworked or seriously disinterested in you and your case.
- Your lawyer is forgetting your case details
Is there a pause when you walk into the office where your lawyer tries to remember your name? Hopefully, it isn’t that bad, but your lawyer may show signs of not having the case completely in hand. They may forget details of your case or forget about pieces of evidence you’ve provided. They may mix up details with other cases. None of this is good for you, and it suggests your lawyer hasn’t given enough attention to your individual situation.
- Your lawyer is missing deadlines
You may hear about these deadlines through your lawyer or, if it gets really bad, from a court. Lawsuits, like everything in life, follow a schedule and have deadlines. If your lawyer is missing them or continually asking for extensions so he or she doesn’t miss them, they have some clear organizational problems. Such problems don’t bode well for your case prospects.
- Your lawyer is acting flustered by your questions
If you are seeing any of these signs, you should go and ask your lawyer to explain him or herself. Hopefully, your lawyer has a good answer, but there are pretty decent odds that they won’t. They may, in fact, be flustered or else clearly bluffing and putting you off. Don’t allow them to fall back on legal terms or complicated sounding excuses. If they are trying to talk circles around you, try to listen to what they are actually saying underneath the terminology. Are they just saying they’re busy?
These are just a few possible signs your lawyer isn’t committed to your case and you should consider getting a new one. If you don’t see behavior that matches this list, in general, just watch out for any unprofessional behavior. Try to demystify the profession. If your lawyer’s behavior would be unprofessional in any business context, it’s probably unprofessional in law as well.
Don’t listen to his or her excuses. Hire an attorney that can get the job done properly.