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In some areas of Illinois law there are literally thousands of lawyers with experience on that type of case. Traffic, divorce and car accidents are probably the top three where finding an attorney with experience isn’t a challenge. There are tens of thousands of those cases every year, so a lot of lawyers that focus their practice on those cases.
On the flip side, if you have a legal issue with the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulations (IDFPR), there are only hundreds of these cases every year. As a result there are not as many law firms who focus on this area of law. So finding the best attorney to protect your professional license isn’t as easy. Here are six questions you should ask an IDFPR attorney before hiring them:
1. What percentage of your practice is IDFPR defense? Most of the attorneys you will see talking about this line of work only dabble in it. That doesn’t mean that they couldn’t handle your case, but it does mean that they aren’t likely the best choice for you. I’ve only seen about five firms that make IDFPR defense more than 80% of their practice.
2. How long have you handled these cases? It’s great if an attorney does 100% professional license defense, but if they’ve only been doing it for two years, your chances of success aren’t as strong as they would be with someone who has been doing it for 20 years.
3. What is the likely path of how the hearing process will go? If they can’t give a detailed explanation to you it may be a sign that they are faking their experience.
4. How many IDFPR cases have you handled in the last 12 months? Some attorneys are really just part time which isn’t a good sign for you. If they’ve only handled 20 cases, it’s not that they aren’t qualified, it’s just a sign that they are spending their time doing many other things.
5. What is the estimate of how much this will cost and how often will I get billed? Lawyers that handle these cases charge by the hour. The ones we recommend give a free consultation and they also don’t over bill you. Some will handle the case on a flat fee. There is a lot of work to be done, but most cases should not involve crazy high fees. If they are charging by the hour you should ask for monthly invoices so you don’t end up with a mysterious large bill.
6. How many people in my field have you helped? It’s not important in every case, but in many of them knowing the proper procedures for your profession can be the difference between winning and losing the case.
I hope this helps. The attorneys we recommend are incredibly experienced and have had tremendous success helping people keep their careers. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you’d like a recommendation.