Memphis Bar Association

What to Look for in a Lawyer/Attorney

 Disclaimer: Each legal matter is unique with different facts and issues; it is nearly impossible for an attorney to advise you from the beginning of a case (with the exception of criminal defense work) how much their attorney fees are going to be (unless it is a situation where there can be a set rate).  Furthermore, it is also difficult for an attorney to give anything other than an approximation as to how long it will take to reach a resolution in a Court case; there are factors outside your attorney’s control, such as the opposing party and the Court.

12 Questions To Ask Your Potential Lawyer


 Here is a handy checklist of basic questions to ask before you hire a lawyer:

  • What is your experience in this field?

  • Have you handled matters like mine?

  • What are the possible outcomes of my case?

  • What are my alternatives in resolving the matter?

  • Approximately how long will it take to resolve?

  • Do you recommend mediation or arbitration?*

  • What are your rates and how often will you bill me?

  • What is a ballpark figure for the total bill, including fees and expenses?

  • How will you keep me informed of progress?

  • What kind of approach will you take to resolve the matter - aggressive and unyielding, or will you be more inclined to reach a reasonable settlement?

  • Who else in the office will be working on my case?

  • Can junior attorneys or paralegals in the office handle some of the substantive legal work at a lower rate?

We also recommend that you check the standing of your attorney with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility. Call 800.486.5714 or visit

After finding the lawyer for your case, there are things you can do as a client to make for a positive experience in the legal system. For tips on how to be a responsible client, click here.

 *Mediation & Arbitration designate processes for bringing about agreement or reconciliation between opponents in a dispute. Mediation implies deliberation that results in solutions that may or may not be accepted by the contending parties. Arbitration involves a more formal deliberation, it being understood that the results will be binding on the contending parties.



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Memphis, TN 38103

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Phone: (901) 527-3573
Fax: (901) 527-3582

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