I suppose that an Attorney Profile page should contain some sort of bio. The problem is, I hate bios. I can’t remember who said this, but the fact is “You Are Not Your Biography.” Still, you want to learn a little bit more about me, so the first thing I’ll say is that you should check out my ABOUT THE FIRM page. Yes, it contains my usual rants and ramblings, but it is informative.
Hiring an attorney is like a job interview. As a defense attorney, I’m an employee–I work for the Accused. As such, I’m going to give you a few helpful hiring tips.
First, people want to know my win percentage. I don’t keep stats, because they’re misleading. Sure, people call me and are happy with my 5-Star Reviews. But that’s not a perfect stat, as I know plenty of awful attorneys who have lots of good reviews (I’ll never tell who, of course). Maybe my 10.0 Avvo rating will assist some attorney shoppers, but I know some awful 10.0 attorneys, and some absolutely fantastic 7.4 attorneys.
Basically, please resist the urge to quantify the practice of law. Don’t get me wrong, I love data. I attach numbers to everything, so I’m guilty of this very thing. I’m fascinated by data because its everywhere, just waiting to be absorbed (if you want more ranting on data, check out my article A Few Words About Data). Yet, as they say in football, statistics are for losers. For example, if you want the earning statistics of a bar full of people, imagine Bill Gates walking into that bar. The average income of the people in that bar will be over $1,000,000. Obviously, that income statistic doesn’t really tell you what the bartender makes. It doesn’t tell you what the bouncer makes. I doubt the dishwasher is making over a $1,000,000 a year, even though the statistics state otherwise.
Again, we want to attach numbers to everything. We wear watches that tell us how many steps we take, and football teams now have their players wear bracelets to track how well they’ve slept and how hard they’ve practiced (Did they run 3 miles in practice? How fast did they run? If they’re slowing down in practice or didn’t get enough sleep, how will that effect their game performance?).
Unfortunately, statistics don’t work with criminal defense. I’ve had streaks where every DUI case was dropped or dismissed, yet I wouldn’t give a potential client such misleading numbers. Still, we can gain meaningful information about an attorney by asking the right questions. As the saying goes, “the quality of your questions will determine the quality of your life” (Tony Robbins said this, I believe?). If you want to find the right attorney, ask the right questions. These are the best questions to ask: