If you need a lawyer for either a criminal or DUI charge, or you need legal representation to get your driver’s license back, then you should be looking for an answer to these questions: “Why should I hire you?” and “What can you do for me?” A person should always have clear answers to those questions. If not, it means he or she plowed ahead without having made an informed choice.
Unfortunately, this happens more than the reader might imagine. In the criminal and DUI world, this is particularly true when people act out of fear. Too many will sign on with the first lawyer who calls them back after-hours, or over the weekend. In license appeal cases, this often happens when a person chooses a lawyer based primarily on price. Neither of those is the right way to secure quality representation. In fact, they reinforce the notions that a good hiring decision should be explainable by answering the questions posed above.
Of course, while the answers to those questions needs to be clear, they also have to make sense. They must be tempered by reality. Anyone facing a criminal or DUI charge would love to hear that some lawyer has the special and unique ability to make his or her problems go away. However, that’s not how things work in the real world. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop some law offices from tying to sell themselves that way. Accordingly, the first order of business for anyone who is a potential consumer of legal services is to first filter through the marketing hype.
To be sure, in every field of practice, like in DUI cases, for instance, some lawyers are better than others. Being “better” includes, among other things, a combination of natural ability and experience. I can think of 2 exaggerated, yet real life examples, that help explain my point. Both of these involve lawyers who are no longer practicing, so I’m not “ratting” anyone out.
The first involved an attorney who, to put it nicely, wasn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Nevertheless, this person (I’m being gender-neutral on purpose) was able to work out really good plea deals. He/she had a natural talent for charming people, including prosecutors and Judges. He she also had many years of experience honing that talent.
Imagine a potential client facing a DUI charge asking him/her, “What can you do for me, and why should I hire you?” This lawyer could have honestly answered, “nobody is going to get a better deal for you than me.”
For the second example, contrast that lawyer with another who, while intellectually gifted, was a flaming a$$hole. This attorney had probably forgotten more law than the lawyer from the previous example had ever known. Personality-wise, however, he/she could piss off – or at least put off – anyone in mere seconds. Despite having practiced for years, this person never became self-aware enough to figure out how not to alienate people. As a result, he/she didn’t produce results anywhere near as good as the not so bright lawyer mentioned above.
Curiously, and somewhat ironically, this off-putting lawyer did have an incredible talent to attract clients. It was something that I never understood, but life is full of mysteries. At any rate, he/she made a lot of money. That was great for his/her bank account, but not so good for his/her clients.
Now, imagine someone asking the a$$hole lawyer “Why should I hire you, and what can you do for me?” The answer to that question aside, a whole lot of people sure thought he/she was worth their money. Nevertheless, his/her direct answer to those questions would never have been as convincing as what the first lawyer’s.
This is all well and fine for example purposes. In the real world, though, few people facing a criminal or DUI charge are actually going to speak with some lawyer and ask, “Why should I hire you and what can you do for me?” Even so, being able to answer those questions should be an implicit part of anyone’s search for representation.
YOU NEED TO COMPARE LAWYERS
To be clear, we’re not talking about the “answers” some lawyers provide as part of their marketing messages. Terms like “tough,” “aggressive,” “first choice,” “number one,” or any other kind of self praise don’t answer anything.
In essence, anyone looking for a lawyer has to become a savvy consumer. This is particularly true when it’s for a criminal or DUI charge, or to win a license restoration,. People will put in all kinds of time comparing refrigerators, or television sets, or any other significant purchase. Why not do the same when it comes to hiring a lawyer, especially after something like an OWI arrest?
The best thing a person seeking legal representation can do is to call around and compare lawyers. Explore your options. Ask questions. My team and I are genuine Michigan DUI and driver’s license restoration lawyers. We also concentrate in a small cross-section of other related matters, like driving offenses and indecent exposure cases. We would love to answer “Why should I hire you,” and “what can you do for me?”
We don’t handle things like armed robbery, rape, or murder cases. If someone facing one of those charges was to ask what we could do for them, and why they should hire us for such a case, our answers would be, “nothing” and “you shouldn’t, respectively.
What makes us good and special is that we stay in our lanes. We handle the very same kinds cases over and over again, day-in and day-out, all day, every day.
GET REAL INFORMATION
Through this blog, and, to the extent possible, on our website, our firm tries to be informative. Of course, this goes beyond “Why should I hire you,” and “what can you do for me?” One of the key ways we do that is by providing as much actual and useful information as possible about DUI, driver’s license restoration cases.
Thus, in the DUI and driver’s license restoration sections of this blog, the goal is to explain the legal process. We break down how it works. We explore what a person can expect as he or she goes through it. Just as important, we’ll explain how our firm does things. In a sense, by explaining things the way we do, we try and answer people’s questions in advance.
Our firm guarantees to win every license restoration and clearance appeal case we take. At least in the context of license restorations, that provides a direct answer to the 2-part question, “Why should I hire you and what can you do for me?” Our guarantee provides that if we take someone’s license appeal, we guarantee to win it the first time around. If we don’t (fortunately, that rarely happens), then we’ll stick with the case, without further legal fees, until he or she does win.
This makes us as invested in winning as our clients. In practice, it means we count on earning our income by winning the first time around. We don’t want to re-do a case all over again, the next year, without charge, as “warranty work.” To be this successful, we have to ask the right questions. We must carefully screen a potential client to make sure he or she is genuinely sober. We need to ensure the person has what it takes for us to make his or her case a winner.
Any potential client, who, for example, is facing a DUI charge, should employ a similar tactic as he or she looks for a lawyer. The screening process really should be a 2-way street.
While this all sounds good, what does it really mean? How is this relevant to anyone in the real world who is looking for an attorney?
The answers require us to refine our first question a bit. “Why should I hire you” doesn’t come down to any one lawyer having some magic ability to just make things happen. Instead, it’s about whether a lawyer or law firm is a good fit for a particular person, or case.
Remember the first lawyer we talked about, who consistently got great results despite not being the sharpest individual around? Not everyone would have been happy with the representation this person provided. Although well-dressed, this person was always a bit “rough” around the edges. Despite usually being able to work things out favorably, plenty of people might have preferred a more genteel personality.
To properly handle a DUI or driver’s license restoration case, the lawyer must be candid and direct with the client. The two parties must be able to communicate effectively. If either party isn’t comfortable with that, it will be a problem.
To understand what I mean, imagine a young lawyer, hungry for business. He or she is contacted by a potential license restoration client. The person explains how much he or she “needs” to drive. Then, he or she expresses frustration over the whole non-drinking requirement to win a license appeal. The person insists they don’t drink that much anymore, and is no risk to ever get another DUI.
Because of our firm’s experience, (meaning our years in the game), we wouldn’t humor such a losing position. Instead we’d come right out and explain that sobriety is a first requirement to win a license appeal, and until the person has enough of it under his or her belt (which is impossible if he or she is still drinking), there is no way to win.
The more timid, green lawyer won’t have a “thick” enough skin to do that. Consequently, he or she could very well wind up taking a case that simply cannot be won. Ultimately, that will result in a pissed off and even more frustrated client.
As the consumer looking for a lawyer, you need someone who will tell you what they need to hear, rather than merely what you want to hear. That makes sense when you read it. However, when you’re in a tight spot and looking for help, it’s easy to fall for the more appealing message.
The only thing a person can do is try to keep in mind that age-old advice, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Of course, also remember our 2 part question: “Why should I hire you, and what can you do for me?”
If you can’t answer them with any lawyer, then you should keep looking until you can.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
If you are facing a criminal or DUI charge, need to win back your driver’s license, or clear a Michigan hold on your driving record so that you can get a license in another state, be a savvy consumer and read around. Pay attention to how different lawyers analyze the kind of case you have, and how they explain their various approaches to it.
When you’ve done enough reading, start calling around. You can learn a lot by speaking with a live person. Remember, though, before you make any hiring decision, you really should be able to answer our 2-part question, “Why should I hire you, and what can you do for me.”
As you do your homework, give our office a ring, as well. 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 (including the one that’s been the basis of this article), explain things, and even compare notes with anything some other lawyer has told you.
We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST) at either 248-986-9700