The most asked question I hear from potential clients is, “Why should I hire a lawyer?” A close second is, “Why should I hire you as my lawyer?”
Here is my answer:
You may not want to hire me. Our firm is not for everyone. We are not the cheapest lawyers in town, but that’s because we spend more time than other firms working up each case, trying for dismissals, and negotiating better deals for our clients. But… You may not want that, or you may not be able to afford it.
I became a criminal defense attorney because I was called to protect people’s rights. This is my passion, and I truly love my job. It is because I have chosen to answer this calling that I treat every single potential client and client how I would want an attorney to treat a member of my family: with honesty and respect. This is often a bit of a double-edged sword.
I am a straight shooter, and I won’t sugarcoat your case. If you are looking for a lawyer who will promise to dismiss your case, make guarantees, or otherwise blow smoke your way, you will not find her here. Even if it means I upset a potential client to the point they will no longer hire me, I will be honest about my assessment of their case.
I refuse to give guarantees. I strongly caution any person to hire an attorney who is willing to give them a guarantee, and here is why: Even if an attorney perfectly executes a case, dots every i, crosses every t, and generally does a great job of advocating for their clients, there are some factors that are just not within our control that can dictate the outcome. For example, if you have a ticket for open container and speeding over 90 miles per hour, and the Judge’s best friend was killed by a drunk driver when he was a child, well, you are probably not going to get out of that ticket for any reason, no matter how good your lawyer is. Likewise if the prosecutor’s divorce to another man named Mike went through yesterday, or if a juror loathes tattoos and you have them all over your body… These are things that I cannot fix. Our judicial system, for better or for worse, is subject to personalities.
Possibly the largest factor I have had to contend with is my clients’ own behavior. It will not help your case if you are picked up on another charge, or rack up more tickets during the time we are trying to handle these citations. Imagine if I gave out guarantees and then had to refund money to clients who had ruined their own chances in court! Just as I advise CDL clients to protect their livelihoods by hiring an attorney, I protect mine as well. Attorneys who do not follow this rule are either too inexperienced to understand why it’s a bad idea to give guarantees, too stupid to understand why they’ve been burned on this in the past, or are the types of people who are willing to make a promise and later renege. Do you really want that person as your attorney?
Value vs. Cost
It is part of my personal policy to encourage potential clients who are on the fence to shop around. I know the value of my services, and I have found that the vast majority of people, once they have spoken to other attorneys, end up calling me back to hire me.
Another reason for this is because I think it is more important that a client is satisfied with their outcome than that they hire me. I like to make my clients happy, and one of the ways I do that is by providing a valuable service. If our fees are so high in comparison to your income that you will be disappointed that you hired us no matter what the outcome of your case, this is not the right law firm for you. I would rather you went elsewhere and felt you got a good value for your money than stick with me and be unhappy or dissatisfied with that choice later.
This bears repeating: I would rather you went to another firm and were satisfied with the value of their services than hired me and felt you got a bad value.
I know I charge a great price for the service I provide to each client. I know I spend time on each case such that my prices may even be too low. But if that’s not what you are going to see, then I’d rather you went elsewhere.
You always have the right to counsel of your choice. If you are on the fence about who to hire, go ahead and call the office. I’m happy to consult with you about whether we are the best firm for you.