We have millions of lawyers, good and bad, inexperienced and experienced, old and young and all have one agenda to serve their clients robustly.
Lawyers, just like other professionals, owe a duty to their clients to effectively represent them and their interests, to the best of their ability. On the other hand, you have the right to expect full representation and competence.
The last thing anyone dealing with legal issues want is to deal with an attorney who is inexperienced in maneuvering the legal processes. However, it happens a lot.
Inexperience may happen due to;
- Poor education – Not every law school is created equal. Some lawyers may be experienced due to inadequate law education.
- Age – A young lawyer may have just left law school and does not have experience.
- Personal incompetence – A lawyer might generally be incompetent in their handling of their work.
- Poor training – This can happen due to lack of proper in-house training at their current workplace.
How to spot an inexperienced lawyer
Inexperienced lawyers tend to draft contracts with lots of inconsistent provisions. Such errors can lead to liability, lawsuits, poor agreements that lack clients’ interest, and loss of money.
Difficult to understand
An inexperienced attorney may speak in legal jargon that can leave you feeling confused and unable to understand the details of your case. This can lead to a disconnect and the lawyer not providing proper counsel.
Lack of communication
A lawyer who doesn’t reply to your emails, return your calls or doesn’t keep you properly informed can mean that they lack experience. An experienced lawyer knows the power of frequently updating and communicating with their clients, even on the smallest matters.
Not understanding your case
A lawsuit requires the lawyer to not only understand the law and the facts but to also have a grasp and understanding of other external factors like public opinion, political position on the issues, and other related non-legal factors that can impact your case.
An inexperienced lawyer may not fully understand your case and other interrelated external parties, thus. not representing your interests fully.
This can lead to settling the case too quickly or initiating a faster litigation process before the appropriate time.
Failure to adhere to given deadlines
Your lawyer should adhere to and meet any given deadlines that pertain to your case. Disregarding any given deadline can be costly to the client.
For example, most states have a deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits. In case your lawyer submits the case late, you may lose the chance of being compensated and also holding the culprit accountable.
How to deal with an inexperienced attorney
Always ask to have access to your file
It might become difficult for an inexperienced attorney to keep on updating you on the progress of your case since they might not have worked on it or have not handled such a case before.
In case you notice such behavior, take control by asking them to give you access to your files. Check the progress of your case and make copies of every detail for future reference.
If your attorney does not communicate nor respond to you, send them a polite but firm letter outlining your concerns.
For example, you may use magical words such as “if necessary I will find another lawyer”. This may get your lawyers to take action and start communicating more frequently.
However, avoid threatening them with malpractice lawsuits since it may cause them to become defensive and become counterproductive to your interests.
Ask questions and do your research
If you feel your lawyer is handling your case in an unsatisfactory manner, it’s advisable to enlighten yourself more by doing legal research.
Researching about your case will enable you to understand your legal position better and equip you with the ability to ask the right questions.
Seek another opinion
It’s advisable to seek a second opinion if you feel your case is being mishandled. You can get a second opinion from experienced lawyers in a different firm or in the same firm.
Ask them to review your case and any work done by your inexperienced attorney and advise accordingly. Such a review may help in catching/noticing critical mistakes and correcting them before the case progresses further.
In addition, seeking a second opinion helps you to decide whether to retain the current inexperienced lawyer or change to a more experienced one.
Fire your lawyer
It’s your legal right to fire your lawyer anytime or when you find it necessary. If you have accessed your files, initiated communication, researched, and asked the right questions, and asked for a second opinion, but still feel your lawyer has underperformed, consider terminating your lawyer-client relationship.
But, remember firing your inexperienced attorney can be costly since you will be starting again from scratch with your new lawyer. You may also lose the money you had already paid your inexperienced lawyer in advance.
Your legal problems need to be handled effectively and with the seriousness they deserve. In case you feel your lawyer is inexperienced, follow the above strategies to work things out. To get in touch with experienced lawyers who will handle your case effectively, click here.