Finding the right lawyer to suit your specific needs can be a can be a stressful process, especially if you need one immediately. Many people have a friend or even a family member who is a lawyer, and it might seem reasonable to ask them to represent you in your time of need.
Before you decide to consult a friend — and even possibly hire them — it is important that you consider your options carefully so that you can make an informed decision.
Reasons You Should Hire a Friend Who’s a Lawyer
Several reasons you might choose to hire a friend to represent you legally may include:
- Time – Searching for the right lawyer can take time. Hiring a friend could save a lot time and energy on your part.
- Money – Although this isn’t necessarily true 100 percent of the time, you could end up saving money by hiring a friend. In some cases, your friend may offer a discounted fee structure or rate. Don’t expect to receive a discount, though.
- Trust – It is extremely important that you trust your lawyer or legal representation, especially if your claim is complex or involves other large parties such as a corporation or insurance company. For most people, a friend is someone you can trust.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire a Friend to Represent You
While there might be a number of reasons to hire a friend to be your lawyer, there are reasons to be skeptical as well. The risk you take in hiring your friend could possibly outweigh any potential benefits, and in some instances, the same reasons for considering hiring a friend could be the same reasons not to hire them.
- Time – Your friend may not have the time to handle your case when you need them. Ask your friend if they have the time to look over case and don’t expect them to discuss your case whenever and wherever you like.
- Money – Lawyers can be costly, and you shouldn’t expect your friend to provide free legal representation or give you a discount just because they are your friend.
- Trust – Information you share with your lawyer should be kept confidential. How confident are that you will be able to share everything related to your legal issue with a lawyer who is also a friend? Do you also feel confident knowing that your friend might possibly know personal, often sensitive, information about you?
Things to Consider When Hiring a Friend to Handle Your Claim
If you decide to hire a friend to be your lawyer, it is important that you be professional when discussing your case and protect your personal relationship. It might also be helpful to discuss your expectations and make a clear distinction between your personal friendship and your client-lawyer relationship.
Overall, be considerate and respectful. Keep your expectations reasonable and never ask your friend to do anything they might feel uncomfortable doing, especially if your legal matter involves another friend or family member.
You Are Not Required to Hire a Friend to Represent You
Don’t feel pressured to hire a friend to be your legal representation. If you decide not to hire your friend, the information they might provide could be just as valuable. Your friend could offer a recommendation for hiring an attorney who can help you, give you a second opinion or briefly look over documents you may not understand.