The decision to hire an attorney depends upon assessing the situation — and then being honest with yourself about your ability to handle the matter on your own.
First, always consult an attorney for:
• Criminal charges
• If you are sued
• Employment issues (whether you are a business or an employee)
• Personal injuries
• Entering a franchise agreement
• Selling a business, or bringing new owners into a business.
Individuals may effectively handle family law matters, business transactions, estate planning, and tax issues. However, one has to consider the costs of time and expertise when deciding to act without an attorney.
Advantages of handling a legal issue yourself:
• There are Court-approved forms and books to help you.
• You can move quickly, not waiting for an attorney to get to your matter.
• You save money by not hiring an attorney.
Disadvantages of handling a legal issue yourself:
• You must invest substantial time and energy to get it right.
• The process may take longer as you must learn how to handle each step.
• You might miss an important issue (such as tax implications) that you needed to consider, costing you significant money or causing significant problems.
Advantages of hiring an attorney:
• The attorney likely has handled the issue before, and can quickly generate correct forms and court filings.
• Attorneys have learned (from experience) different methods for handling issues that might not be in a book.
• The attorney may point out important aspects of your matter that you might never have considered (such as tax implications) that could save you far more money than what you pay the attorney.
• An attorney has more experience handling your issue.
Disadvantages of hiring an attorney:
• Attorneys cost money. Fees vary widely, so contact several attorneys. Do not necessarily hire the cheapest attorney. Hire the attorney with whom you feel most comfortable.
• Some attorneys may be busy or disorganized, and thus they may not handle your issue right away.
The final decision about whether to hire an attorney depends entirely on the situation.
Do It Yourself Forms and Books
Bradford Publishing Company provides self-help legal books and Court-approved legal forms for
• Family Law (divorce, custody, alimony, same sex partners, guardianship’s)
• Powers of Attorney
• Starting A Business
• Wills and Estate Planning
• Small Claims Court (for matters under $7,500)
• Selling or Renting Property
• Business Transaction Forms
• Mechanics Liens