Your lawyer should promptly and courteously respond to phone calls, emails, and other communications. They should be able to give you a general overview of your case, including its current status as well as the likely next steps and any challenges that may arise. While a lawyer does not come with a guarantee of excellence, they should not make egregious errors that a reasonable lawyer in their position would not make. (You can sue for malpractice if this happens.) Lawyers have certain basic ethical obligations under the rules of their state bar, such as keeping client information confidential, avoiding conflicts of interest, refraining from self-dealing, and providing zealous advocacy. Also, a lawyer should be able to clearly explain how their fees will be calculated and provide you with a written fee agreement upon request. They cannot change a fee agreement without getting the client’s consent.