What Are Tips to Evaluate an Attorney Outside of the United States?

When evaluating an attorney based outside of the United States, consult U.S embassies, and if necessary, ensure the attorney can communicate fluently in English, says the U.S Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. U.S embassies and consulates maintain rosters of foreign attorneys who have presented themselves as willing to assist U.S citizens.

Before retaining a foreign attorney, do not make payments until the attorney's qualifications are verified, explains the U.S Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. Before signing any contracts, understand any technical language used within the contract. Also, understand how the country in question handles attorney-client confidentiality.

Legal billing expectations vary greatly in foreign countries, according to the U.S Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. A foreign attorney might expect payment in advance or expect an additional payment before each specific legal service provided. Ask the attorney how long the legal action required will take, keeping in mind many foreign courts operate far more slowly than U.S courts. U.S attorneys with international law experience can provide useful supplementary explanations of complicated legal issues. Foreign bar associations can refer people to free or low-fee legal services. In some cases, U.S consular officials can communicate with foreign attorneys on the behalf of U.S citizens. In countries governed by civil law, notaries execute many of the tasks associated with U.S. attorneys.