In part 1 of this article, we began looking at the 3 questions anyone should consider as he or she looks for a lawyer for a Michigan criminal, DUI or driver’s license restoration case. After we went over a few preliminary considerations like not getting the “hard sell” from some lawyer’s office, we began examining the first of 3 sub-questions from the larger inquiry, “why should I hire you?” and saw why it’s important to find a lawyer whose practice concentrates in the same field as a person’s case.
Having covered those things, in the previous installment, we can turn to the second sub-question anyone looking for a lawyer should have about an attorney or law firm: How available do you make USEFULL information relevant to my kind of case, and specific concerns?
I’ve already mentioned this blog as a resource, and while I am proud of it (and think it’s the best out there by far!), there is lots of other information out there, as well. Find it, and see what other lawyers have written and then put up about your kind of case. Reading articles is about the easiest and most anonymous way to at least get some preliminary information about a situation, but a person must also make sure that the information provided is both accurate and reliable.
The bad news, of course, is that a lot of legal “blogs” are very short on information and detail, while others are nothing more than platforms for shallow, self-promotion pieces.
The good news is that those things are pretty easy to spot quickly, so there’s no need to explore that any further. An astute reader should always try to “read between the lines” and carefully evaluate the quality of the information being presented in any article or other writing.
From my perspective as a writer of sorts, any lawyer or law firm worth considering for a criminal or DUI case should put out enough information to actually help the reader understand his or her situation better. This requires a lot more detail and take a lot more effort than just saying “call me!” or “call now!” in big letters.
Once you get a feel for things, however, you should make some calls…
Without a doubt the very best way to get information specific to your case is to pick up the phone and speak with someone about it. Here again, our office is different, and I try very hard to make this point ver clear: we NEVER try to lead or push someone into making an appointment or hiring us. We do not use any kind of gimmicks, trick, or high pressure tactics under the guise of offering a free “consultation.”
When you’re speaking with any lawyer or law office, you should expect clear and direct answers to your questions. If you call us as part of your search for a lawyer, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
For example, we often speak with people exploring driver’s license restoration cases months, and even years before they’re able or ready to move forward. We can certainly explain a lot more about how the license appeal process will work in their specific situation when we have the chance to speak with them and clarify what they may not understand than they could get just by reading through information on their own.
As I said before, anyone looking for a lawyer should call around. Hiring a lawyer is an important decision. Anybody looking to buy a new refrigerator will normally do a little homework; someone looking for a lawyer should absolutely do no less.
Just like reading articles, a person calling around can usually tell, within the first few moments of speaking, if he or she can get some real information, or if the person on the other end of the phone is primarily concerned with “getting them in,” or otherwise pursuing a hard sell.
When someone has questions about a DUI or a Michigan Secretary of State driver’s license restoration or clearance case, we normally have a few questions for them to help figure out exactly what’s going on, and then, once we have a clearer picture, we can address their concerns. When we’re done, we always tell the person to call around, and call us back if they have any more questions, or would like to set up an appointment.
It sounds like a cliche, but it is true that every case is unique, and sometimes, a very small detail can make a very big difference in how things work out. Even so, a person should be able to get a very good assessment of his or her case over the phone.
Here again, though, the source of the information matters. It’s always best to get an assessment from lawyers whose practices concentrate in, rather than just “does,” the kind of case you’e calling about.
I have always been a big believer in telephone consultations. A million years ago, before I had an actual office, answering questions and explaining things over the phone was a lot more convenient for me than having to go somewhere to meet someone.
Not that many years later, I was lucky to get busy enough that it was still way more convenient to talk to someone over the phone rather than going through all the hassle of having them come in for an office appointment just to sit down and go over the same thing we could have talked about over the phone.
Over the last 20-plus years, my team and I have perfected the telephone consultation. Even in a really complicated case, the most we need is a scan or a photo of something like a driving record, and we can analyze and explain just about everything without having to drag someone in.
That’s not the half of it, though, because when you do place a phone call, you should be able to talk to a live person. The last thing anybody wants is to call and have to leave a message and wait for a callback. In our office, the person who answers the phone can always handle the inquiry.
When someone does call, beyond legal information, they want to know about price, and with that, we can examine the third question anyone looking for a lawyer should have answered right away: How much do you charge?
Let me be clear: price should NEVER be any kind of secret, and the answer to that simple question, “how much?” should be both clear and unambiguous. Any person looking to hire a lawyer should not have to haul out to some office just to find out what he or she charges.
Likewise, a person should never get a bunch of double-talk or any kind of run around instead of being provided with a simple answer and a precise number.
In fact, I don’t believe a person should even have to ask how much, which is why our office clearly and visibly lists our prices on both my website and this blog on the Fees section.
Personally, I won’t even bother considering hiring any company or enterprise that isn’t completely upfront about cost, and I wouldn’t treat any potential client will less consideration than I expect when I’m the consumer.
I have practiced law for nearly 30 years of this writing, and my team and I know exactly what it takes to complete a case. Heck, I knew what it took to handle a case over 25 years ago; this shouldn’t be difficult for any lawyer to quickly figure out right away.
We have handled tens of thousands of cases, and while there are certain factors that can affect the fee structure in any given situation, NONE of them are unknown to us, and they shouldn’t be unknown to any lawyer who knows what he or she is doing.
If lawyer says that he or she can’t give a firm price, or at least a very narrow price range, right over the phone, then I’d say hang up and move on. To me, that’s an obvious indication that something isn’t right.
If someone tries to pull that on you, look elsewhere.
Unfortunately, one of the “techniques” used by some slick operators is to not list prices, and then “see what they can get,” based upon a person’s ability to pay, or, worse yet, lack of options or consumer sophistication.
I find such practices repulsive. By publishing our fees, we avoid all of that. If you want to know what we charge, just look at the link on the top of this page.
Our firm offers premium services and does NOT compete on the basis of fees. To be clear, our fees are never anywhere near the lowest, and we have no interest in playing the discount game.
Instead, we offer unsurpassed legal services (and guaranteed results in driver’s license restoration cases), and we charge accordingly.
By listing our prices, we can avoid wasting our time with cut-rate price-shoppers, and also the time of those who simply want to know, “how much do you charge?”
If you want to know what another lawyer charges, you’ll probably have to ask, but by all means, DO ask. If you don’t get a clear answer, then call someone else. There should never be any mystery about what it’s going to cost for your case, and there should never be any hesitation in quoting a fee.
This is simple stuff, and it should be presented that way. If, at any point, it seems complicated, that’s a red flag. As clear-spoken as a lawyer should be giving a price when asked should be the easiest thing he or she does.
If you’re looking for a lawyer for a criminal, DUI or driver’s license restoration case, do yourself a favor and follow my suggestion to be a good consumer. Take some time to read around. When you’ve done enough of that, start checking around.
All of our consultations are free, confidential, and done over the phone, right when you call. My team and I are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things
We can be reached, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., at either 248-986-9700 or 586-465-1980.