Finding the Right Lawyer

Attorney representation

You are on my website, reading this blog, so you are likely asking yourself, how do I find the right family law attorney? Shortest blog ever, go with Smith & Smith Law Office. Of course, I am leading with the conclusion without explaining the importance and how to find the right lawyer.

The first thing you must understand with finding a lawyer is that this decision should NOT be taken lightly. Attorneys are not cheap, and you are likely dealing with a stressful situation where you need patient and knowledgeable guidance through your situation.

The first and best resource for finding a lawyer is to ask family and friends for a referral. These people can let you know his or her experience with an attorney and are the most efficient guide as to which attorney has helped people in your community.

If you do not feel comfortable talking to family or friends, you can search the internet for reviews and legal directories. However, be wary of this information. There are a lot of false negative and positive reviews on the internet, and legal directories often promote attorneys based on which attorney is paying the directory for premium exposure/ratings. If you are using the internet and legal directories in your attorney search, use these tools to construct 3-5 potential lawyers and conference with these lawyers to find the best fit.

When you are conferencing with a potential attorney, keep four items in mind:

  • Personality of attorney
  • Experience
  • Your anticipated experience with this lawyer/firm
  • Fees

Personality of attorney is the most important factor and simply means, how do you like/trust this attorney. Attorneys in contested family law matters work with clients for 9 months to 2 years. During this time, it is essential that you tell your attorney honestly and completely intimate facts on your case, so the attorney can choose the best route for your case. If you do not trust the attorney, or do not feel comfortable disclosing this information, your representation will suffer.

Experience is second most important. Does the lawyer/firm practice exclusively in family law? What percentage of his or her practice is family law? The most experienced attorneys will practice exclusively in family law. He or she will have the daily subject matter repetition to handle any family law matter.

Your anticipated experience with this lawyer/firm indicates what your experience is during your family matter representation. What technology does the attorney use to keep in contact with you? What is the response time for you to hear back from your attorney? Nothing is as frustrating as a client’s inability to communicate with his or her attorney, so you should ask what is the standard operating procedure for communication with the attorney?

Finally, and least important, is the fees. Clearly, your financial situation must be compatible with your attorney’s costs but be wary of the attorney who charges 10% of the standard rate, as you are likely to get 10% of the work on your case and be billed later for more money that should have been charged at the beginning of the case.

Now that your head is spinning with this important decision, feel free to contact Smith & Smith Law Office to see if we are a good fit for your representation.