The Importance of Choosing a Lawyer You Can Communicate WithJuly 30, 2020
If you have ever attempted to read your auto insurance policy or a piece of legislation, you might have thought, “I know this is in English, but I don’t understand any of it.” Insurance policies, contracts, and bills in the legislature are written by lawyers who use big and often obscure vocabulary to make sure those documents leave no room for loopholes. But when you need a lawyer, you need one who, rather than trying to impress you with big words, can talk to you in language you can easily understand.
Keep in mind that a lawyer represents you in a legal matter; he doesn’t replace you. You’re the person who makes the decisions – not your attorney. And to inform those decisions, you need to be sure you understand fully all of the factors involved. Your attorney is there to guide and advise you, but at the end of the day, decisions are yours, and only yours, to make.
Jones & Ueligger Law recommends you consider three areas when looking for a lawyer who isn’t going to bewilder you with a lot of “legalese.”
- A good lawyer will communicate verbally – not just by email, text, or letter – to discuss your legal issue and keep you updated. This applies to delivering both good news and bad, because it’s tempting for a lawyer to want to put some space between himself and bad news. Your lawyer should talk to you honestly and promptly and take the time to discuss news with you. After you talk to your lawyer, you should feel informed and knowledgeable, not bewildered.
- The old saying that communication is a two-way street is true. A good attorney will listen as much as he speaks. He shouldn’t interrupt you and should be demonstrating that he’s actually listening to you when you’re speaking – not thinking about how he’s going to respond before you’ve even finished. And when you ask a question, your lawyer should answer it or ask you more questions so he fully understands your question, not sidestep it or lapse into that “legalese” you can’t understand.
- A good lawyer will be open to listening to your opinions and thoughts on a matter because even if he’s handled hundreds of similar legal issues in the past, each client brings a unique set of circumstances to their case. Your lawyer should ask you questions as often as you ask him because that’s how he gathers the information he needs in order to advise you. And when your lawyer does advise you, you should listen for points you made to him coming back to you, a sure sign he was truly listening.
A good attorney is a good advocate for his clients, and the only way to be a good advocate is through solid, two-way communication that you and your lawyer both understand. To learn more about how the attorneys at Jones & Ueligger Law communicate with their clients, take a minute to learn about us.