He's Just Not That Into You – What to Do When You Don't Like Your Lawyer

Lawyers have specialized knowledge and skills that benefit people in certain situations. You likely hired your lawyer because his or her solid legal reputation and history of success made you confident that your lawyer could help you achieve the best possible outcome for your legal issues. Since most clients hire a lawyer as an expert to perform a professional service and are not interested in forming a personal relationship with their lawyer, they do not assess whether they are likely to get along with or like their attorney. That strategy of hiring an expert without regard to personal qualities is not only okay, it is smart because, ultimately, what is important is the outcome of your case, transaction, contract or other legal issue – not whether you like your lawyer.
How to Tell if Your Lawyer is Doing a Good Job
Sometimes it can be difficult for a client to ascertain whether a lawyer is brusque in his or her demeanor or is not adequately performing the legal work that the lawyer was hired to do. More often than not, it is simply a matter of the client not liking the lawyer’s personality than it is a matter of the quality of the legal work. It is usually easy to tell if your lawyer is doing a good job on your case by asking your lawyer a few questions, such as:
  • Can you please give me a status update on my case?
  • Can you explain the next steps that you will take in my case?
  • Do you think that I stand a good chance of recovery and how long do you think it will take before we settle or go to trial?
The answers to these question will let you know that your lawyer, despite how he or she comes across, is diligently working on your legal issues.
What to Do if You Don’t Like Your Lawyer
If your relationship with your attorney is really bothering you then you do have options. Your first option should be to talk to your lawyer. Explain your concerns and discuss what you can do to rectify them. For example, if you feel that your lawyer is uncommunicative tell your lawyer that you do not feel that you are being kept abreast of developments in your case. Ask that your lawyer explain things more thoroughly, return your phone calls or have someone else in the firm answer your inquiries in a timely fashion.
Every once in a while, the line between not liking your lawyer and concerns about the quality of the work your lawyer is doing may become blurry. If, after talking to your lawyer, you are truly concerned that your lawyer is not protecting your legal interests then you may ask for substitute counsel.
Before you take any action regarding your lawyer, it is often useful to take a step back and think carefully about the situation. Remember that you hired your lawyer to do a specific legal job for you and not because of his or her personality. A lawyer, like a doctor, may be a great diagnostician and practitioner but lack a good bedside manner. In the end, it is of upmost importance that your legal health is well maintained.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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