Hiring legal counsel to represent and advocate for you and your family requires a lot of thought. The choice of an attorney to represent your family law needs goes beyond thirty-second commercial spots or catchy jingles aired on the radio. You want a competent professional with a proven track record of expertise.
Look with the Endgame in Mind
If you are in search of a family law attorney, no doubt you are faced with a specific situation. You have the desired outcome in mind. Your individual needs can help guide you to the right choice. For example, if you are faced with a divorce, you will want to seek out lawyers who have a reputation for aggressive representation in the courtroom.
Talk to Family and Friends
Word of mouth is often the best recommendation for a good family law attorney. When you are in search of an attorney, set aside time to speak with friends and family members you can trust. When you seek out a recommendation from someone you know, make sure you are looking for the right kind of lawyer. Not every firm handles all aspects of family law.
Of course, suggestions and advice can come from well-meaning family members when you are not looking for it. Make sure you speak with friends or family members with the same values you hold. Watch closely for emotional responses and biases. Listen for recommendations based on the standards of service, communication, and dedication of the attorney.
Personal recommendations are a great place to begin your search, but it is essential to go on more than just opinions. Research carefully and read online reviews and testimonials from actual clients.
Look for the Right Values
Regardless of the reason you are seeking a family law attorney, there are common characteristics you will want to find. Once you have narrowed down a few choices. Make plans to meet with the lawyer in person. Go in prepared with a list of questions. The following are a few of the questions you may want to ask:
- What is the attorney’s experience with family law?
- Have they appeared before the judge or judges in the area that will be deciding your case?
- What is the attorney’s history with opposing counsel?
- How hard are they willing to fight for your desired outcome?
As you identify the attorney, watch for signs of professionalism and tact. Listen to how the attorney speaks to you. Do you feel heard?
Communication between attorney and client is essential for a good relationship and an ideal outcome. It is also important to establish how the attorney will communicate with you. If you have questions, will you speak directly with your lawyer, or another associate, or a paralegal?
When you speak with the attorney, are they willing to go over things with you, including your budget and your goals? When looking for a family lawyer, it’s important to choose one that is responsible and holds themselves to a higher ethical standard.