Lawyers and law firms are traditionally hired to render legal services. Most lawyers in Lagos Nigeria offer legal services and may also serve as attorneys and representatives to various persons in both corporate and commercial matters. In considering how to hire a lawyer in Lagos Nigeria, many factors must be considered.
In Nigeria, lawyers may be employed for a single matter or on a retainership basis. In getting an experienced lawyer to hire in Nigeria, some of the important factors that must be considered will be briefly discussed below.
MАKING A LIST OF РRОЅРЕСTIVЕ LАWУЕRЅ
In compiling a list of lawyers, one must have regard to both online sources and referrals. With a search on the internet, one can identify lаwуеrѕ who have special expertise in the in a particular practice area. Furthermore, there are various online directories through where lawyers may be contacted.
In considering offline sources, one may choose to ask family, friends, or business associates who might have probably engaged a particular lawyer for a similar service required.
CONTACT УОUR РRОЅРЕСTЅ
Upon listing some suitable lawyers, one may choose to reach out to each lawyer or law firm individually to ask some specific questions. By doing this, someone may narrow the search to a single or multiple firm or lawyers. In contacting a list of prospective lawyers, it is disrespectful to simply send an email conspicuously copying many lawyers or law firms at the same time. Most lawyers do not respond to this type of general inquiry. Furthermore, where the preliminary questions are becoming very long and touching on a specific subject matter or legal service a client requires a lawyer for, some lawyers may impose a consultation fee in such a circumstance. By and large, most lawyers and law firms in Lagos offer free consultations to a certain extent, it depends on a particular law firm.
After reaching out to the prospective lawyers and getting different responses, one should have an idea of the type of lawyers to be engaged. Some of the other important factors to be considered before hiring a lawyer include the followings:
- Gооd соmmuniсаtiоn: By getting a response from a specific lawyer, one will find evidence of good communication skills or not. Some of the essential elements of good communication include listening, friendliness, clarity, and empathy. To hire any lawyer, such a lawyer must demonstrate all or some of the mentioned behaviors.
- Experience and expertise: some legal services require unique knowledge or expertise. For some legal matters that need special expertise, it is crucial to check whether the prospective lawyer or law firm to be engaged is knowledgeable in such an area. The best way to discover this is to ask the lawyer whether he has personally handled similar matters or services or has a colleague he can refer you to. Additionally, most law firms in Nigeria usually list their areas of practice on their website, so you may visit the law firm’s website to discover the types of legal services they offer.
- Legal Fееѕ: legal services could be costly sometimes. Lawyers in Lagos may charge for legal work on an hourly and fixed basis. It is important to clarify or ask about a method of charge by an engaged lawyer before asking him or her to commence the legal work. Where no specific fees are agreed upon before commencement of legal service with a lawyer or law firm, the client might be billed on quantum meruit. For clarity, it is important to agree on a specific amount or method of charges before engaging a law firm or lawyer. If the law firm offers a fixed rate, one may opt for a fixed-rate charge, as it is most cost-effective. However, the fixed rate may not apply to a multi-dynamic type of legal service.
ENGAGING A LAWYER OR LAW FIRM
- After settling on a lawyer and you have briefed him or her, you may ask the firm or lawyer to provide an engagement letter or contract, which serves as a contractual agreement between a lawyer and a client.
Finally, the above factors must be bored in mind before hiring a lawyer in Lagos to avoid any uncertainty or ambiguity in the course of the engagement. It is relevant to state that where someone is not sure whether a particular lawyer is fake or authentic, such a person may check the website of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), which is an umbrella and mandatory association for all lawyers in Nigeria. The names of all genuine lawyers in Nigeria are listed on the website.