There are a few things you should know before you hire a lawyer.
First, how much and what kind of experience does the lawyer have? Law schools do not teach students to be good trial lawyers. They teach the basics that every lawyer must know in order to pass a bar examination. One must master the art of persuasion in order to convince juries and the art of negotiation to successfully deal with prosecuting attorneys. Experience is the best teacher. A lawyer must have tried at least fifty jury trials before they acquire enough knowledge and skill to properly try a case.
Second, how do you feel about the lawyer? Are they genuinely interested in you and care about what happens to you? Do they make you feel comfortable when you ask questions or do they seem annoyed? Do they answer your questions to your satisfaction? Do they seem confident and professional? A lawyer who does not listen to you or satisfactorily answer your questions is not going to be very effective in communicating with prosecutors, judges and juries.
Third, criminal law is complicated and it has changed dramatically over the years. Science has come into the courtroom and trial lawyers must know how to deal with it. If scientific testing has been done in your case, you need a lawyer who understands what has been done. For example, if DNA evidence is involved, don’t hire a lawyer who knows little about it.
Finally, the lawyer that you hire can make a huge difference in the outcome of the case. It makes no sense to hire the cheapest lawyer that you can find. Consider what your continued freedom is worth to you and the people that love and rely on you. Always hire the best and most experienced lawyer that you can afford.