Are you planning to take a legal matter to court? Are you in the process of deciding whether to hire an attorney and how to choose one in the first place? Looking for a good lawyer can seem like a daunting task, but this doesn't have to be true. Before hiring any lawyer, here are some questions to ask in order to make the selection process easier:

Do you require a retainer? If so, how much is it? Many lawyers will charge you a retainer fee, before they will even begin working on your case. Although they may offer a free initial consultation, they do this with the understanding that you will hand over money before they prepare any paperwork or otherwise begin court proceedings. Some lawyers may begin preparations without a retainer. In lieu of a retainer and hourly fees, these attorneys will charge you a percentage of whatever judgement is awarded to you. Since these various fees can vary widely between different attorneys and law firms, make sure to get clarification so that you know what is expected of you.

What paperwork do you need from me? Although you may have a folder full of relevant documents that you've prepared to hand over to your attorney, you may have missed something that he or she will need. The sooner the attorney has the papers in hand, the sooner that he or she can start filing necessary court documents. By asking this during the initial consultation, you can give him or her the documentation that you have and can make a list of the rest.

Who will be working on the case? An attorney will often hand some of the work off to paralegals or other staff members who work in the office. If you're paying hourly, you'll probably want to know the billing rates for each of these potential workers. In addition, no matter how the fees will be paid, you'll want to know how experienced each person is with the casework that they'll be assigned to do.

How long will this case take? While every case is different, a good attorney will be able to give you a rough estimate. Simple court cases may be over in a matter of weeks or months, while more complicated issues could take several years. Knowing approximately how long the whole thing will last will give you a better idea of how to budget both time and money.