8 Things To Consider When Hiring A Lawyer

Ashley Donald – March 2018 

  1. Money

Unfortunately, I had to bring this up first. Lawyers aren’t cheap, and this is a major concern for many clients. The reality is that lawyers are generally worth every penny, and the best thing about a firm like MDW, is that we have ten lawyers to choose from, each with her or his own strengths. We have lawyers of differing levels of experience, meaning that you can choose an experience level that works with your budget.  Our personal injury lawyers provide free consultations and offer Contingency Fee Agreements.  At MDW Law, lawyers are always bouncing ideas off one another, and the partner’s doors are always open. This means if I have a question or issue that I haven’t dealt with before, you, as the client, aren’t left in the lurch. Senior associates and the partners are always on deck to help if need be. Give our offices a call if you are curious about the different experience and hourly rates of our lawyers.

  1. Personality

Though there may be a standard lawyer stereotype out there, the reality is that lawyers bring all their real human traits, personalities and *gasp* feelings with them when they step into the conference or court room. You want to make sure you can build a trusting relationship with your lawyer, and that often comes down to choosing someone with a personality that you actually like. If you don’t get along with your lawyer, communication suffers and so too does your relationship. You can learn more about each lawyer at MDW by reading her or his bio on our website. We are all real people with real lives, as surprising as that may sound.

  1. Reputation

Now, being that I was just called to the bar about one year ago, I don’t expect to have the same reputation as the all-star super lawyer, Ms. Mary Jane McGinty. Reputation though, in the community and in the profession, is important. A lawyer who has a reputation as someone who is easy to get along with, responsive and respectful is more likely to garner the same response from other lawyers and the judiciary. A lawyer with a good reputation is more likely to help you reach an amicable solution with the other party. Do not be fooled, however, as MDW lawyers are ready to go to court if needed, and only if needed.

Be aware of a potential lawyer’s reputation by asking around and by reading his or her discipline history on the barrister’s society website.

  1. Experience/Practice Area(s)

Choose a lawyer that works primarily in the area of law you need. If you want the best assistance in moving your family law matter forward, you need a family law lawyer. The same goes for any personal injury claim.  Knowing the ins and outs of Family Division or Family Court is imperative to timely and successful action involving a family matter.  Knowing the ins and outs of insurance law and the Supreme Court is invaluable to resolving a personal injury claim in a timely and successful manner.

  1. Availability

The reality is that lawyers are busy. We all have multiple files with varying degrees of complexity. That being said, it is important to us at MDW that your voice is heard, and that you can get a hold of your lawyer or someone who can answer your questions when you need to. This does not necessarily mean you can always get us on the phone or that we can always call or email you back right away, but we do like to ensure that if an emergency arises, someone at the firm can help you if your lawyer is unavailable due to court, meetings, or vacation.

  1. Location/Parking

The blasted parking debacle that is downtown Halifax may make you steer clear of any firm inside the downtown core. Well, fear not. MDW Law provides validation for parking within Park Lane Mall, so you don’t have to worry about one-way streets, parallel parking and feeding the meter.

Another great thing about having our law firm downtown is how quickly we can get to the courthouses (provincial, law courts or family division) in a pinch if we need to file documents in an urgent manner, or when attending hearings, conferences or any other appearances. You may be surprised to hear that one of our legal assistants has jogged documents to Family Division because traffic was so bad! Luckily, she got there in time. I’m not sure a legal assistant in Tantallon can boast the same amazing feat, but if he or she can, please let us know (we may have a job for said person).

  1. Comfort

It is important that when you walk into a law firm, you feel comfortable not only with your surroundings, but with the individuals you encounter. We pride ourselves on our warm and welcoming atmosphere, and our first-rate staff who are the first voices and faces you meet. Making the decision to meet with a lawyer is often a difficult decision, and honestly, no one really likes having to make that decision. We hope to ease the stress of that decision. We also often have various (hypoallergenic) office dogs running around to add to the home-like environment.

  1. Coffee

We provide free coffee (or tea) and often have chocolatey treats for your consuming pleasure.

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