When you hire a lawyer, you put not just your legal matter in their hands, but your future, your family’s future, practically everything. Whether it’s your freedom (keeping you out of jail), your future (keeping you from carrying around the scarlet letter of a conviction), or your wallet (preventing you from being saddled with thousands of dollars in fines and fees) you place a lot of your life and well-being in the hands of your lawyer. You also place your trust in your lawyer. If you knew everything there was to know about the law, your case, the court, the prosecutor, the jurisdiction, your defenses… you probably wouldn’t need a lawyer. But of course you don’t know everything there is to know about the legal system and what options and defenses are open to you, so again you place your trust in a lawyer.
It’s all these reasons that make the question in the headline such a no-brainer: of course your lawyer should put your interests above all else. Unfortunately, we all see lawyers placing their own interests over their clients everyday. Lawyers suffer from a terrible reputation for a reason (all those lawyer jokes don’t come from nowhere). Putting their profits over people, treating people like they’re just a number, and not putting the time and effort to understand a client’s case or (ust as importantly not making sure the client understands too) these are ways all too often lawyers put their clients’ interests second to their own.
When you’re picking a lawyer, trust is the most important word to focus on. Of course you want someone with experience and knowledge. Of course you want someone will skill in the courtroom. All the experience, knowledge, and skill, however, is for nothing if you can’t trust in your lawyer. So ask yourself if you trust that your lawyer is putting your interests above all else? If the answer is “yes,” you are in the right hands. If the answer is “no” or even “I’m not sure,” you need to find another lawyer.