Finding the Right Attorney
March 1, 2023
If you have to deal with a Family Law issue, you should start by finding a good, experienced attorney you are comfortable with. You will need to invest a little time to find the attorney best suited for you. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Referrals: Ask for referrals from family, friends, attorneys, other professionals or other trusted sources. It's a good idea to get information from several different people and then compare the suggestions and check out the candidates. Don't just take someone's word on this.
2. Online: Look for the attorney online. Find their website and read through it to get a flavor for the attorney. See if they have a blog. Look for reviews. There are all kinds of information available online.
3. Your Goals: Think ahead to what result you are looking for with your case. What things are important for you? Be prepared to discuss these with the attorney so the attorney can tell you what your options are.
4. Interview: Make a list of questions. Meet with the attorney and ask plenty of questions. Feel free to disagree or question the attorney. Attorneys shouldn't mind. In fact, the interaction can help the attorney decide whether or not he or she wants to work with you. You and the attorney can each decide if you want to work together.
5. Approach: Find out the attorney's suggested approach and decide if that is the way you would want to proceed.
· Some attorneys take basically the same approach to every case. Sometimes it is very aggressive, while others may be very conciliatory. You and the attorney need to be on the same wavelength.
· Other attorneys may explain a wide range of options and help you evaluate which would be in your best interest. (Our approach.) What worked for someone else might not be the best for you.
· Some attorneys try to make all the decisions and tell their clients how things will be handled. That may be great for certain clients who don't like having to make decisions. If you want to be the decision maker, you should clearly tell the attorney. This type of approach may not be obvious at the beginning.
6. Finances: Before you get started, be sure you have a clear understanding of how you will be charged for services and how you are expected to pay. It’s not likely that the attorney can tell you what the case will cost you, but you can find out some steps to expect. Make sure the attorney if affordable. You may need to consider borrowing some of the fee or using a credit card if cash is not readily available.
7. Chemistry: In the end, the chemistry needs to be right with you and your attorney. You need to start out on the same page and feel good about things when you get started. Put in the effort at the start for the best results!