A large number of our firm’s clients come to us after having had a previous bad experience with another law firm. The most common complaint a lack of communication from the attorney either in the form of unavailability or lack of call backs or email responses.
When you see an ad on TV for one of those big law firms, you need to know that there is a very small chance the attorney you see will actually be the one to handle your case. There are exceptions, but they are just that.
Also, fancy TV ads or nice downtown offices do not tell you anything about a lawyer’s skill or competence in the courtroom. There are plenty of “successful” and “famous” attorneys out there who do not practice law at all, they just round up the clients and pass them on to younger attorneys, running “settlement mill” practices that bring good money in, but to the detriment of the individual client and their claims.
In many cases, the junior attorney will then assign the case to a paralegal at the firm, who will handle the day to day management of the case file – request and organize medical records, schedule hearings, depositions and recorded statements – but most importantly, communicate these updates and the progress of the case with you, the client.
Paralegals can be very effective in the handling of your case, but you should always ask when signing up with a firm who really will be handling your case – or at least the critical stages. It might not be who you think.