How to Monitor Your Attorney: 3 Easy Tips

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on April 02, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You're hiring an attorney but you really don't know if the attorney's on top of their game. That's a valid concern, after all, you're coughing up big bucks for your retainer fee just to have your attorney represent you.

It makes sense to want to keep an eye on your lawyer. But attorneys don't always like it when clients get in the way of their work. It can actually impede your case if you over-direct your attorney. 
So how do you monitor your attorney, without crossing the line?

Here are a few pointers on keeping tabs on your attorney.

Get to know the law. You'll likely never be an expert on the law without spending all that time (and money) in law school. But there are ways to learn about the law enough to talk about your case with your attorney. There are many online tools available as well as quick legal guides available at any local or online bookstore. But remember: Just because you saw something on Law & Order, it doesn't mean that it's legally accurate.

Get to know your attorney. Have a look online to find out more about your attorney. Visit the State Bar's website to see if your attorney has a history of discipline. Run a Google search on your lawyer to see if he or she has published anything. Of course, the law firm's website should have a bio on the attorney, as well.

Check in with your attorney a week before any anticipated deadlines. It's best not to be a needy client - don't call the office incessantly. But do keep track of important deadlines (especially court dates or filing deadlines) and call the attorney's office to leave a quick message one week before the deadline.

Remember-- you're paying your attorney to do the job so don't step in and take over. But do keep informed. It's the wise thing to do.

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