If you are at a point that you know you need to hire an attorney, your first thought is who do I go to? If you have never had a legal problem to deal with you may be starting from the beginning and that is okay, this guide will give you 3 tips to begin your search and a few questions to ask your potential attorney.
First, go their website to determine what area of law they practice. If they do not have a specific focus area that you can see, continue to look around. Particularly for divorce, if you find an attorney who does 4 or 5 other areas of law themselves, that is not a good choice. The reason is you want an attorney who is up to date on your area of law and focuses on that area so that you have someone who is current with the practice, familiar with the other lawyers in that area and knows the family law judges and give you guidance in that area. Lastly, I would suggest going with a firm that is more than just one attorney, it will protect you in the event something happens to your main attorney. Second, at the first meeting you should be asked about your goals and what you want to accomplish. If not, I would be cautious about entering into a contract with this attorney. The reason is that at the first meeting they are trying to get you as a client and they should be interested in what you want and need. This is your life and you want an attorney who is going to handle this divorce based upon your needs and goals in life. Otherwise, they will be assuming you want things that may not be best for your future. Communication and mutual respect is huge, this is your life. If you are not confident that they can handle your problem and get you to a desired result, keep looking.
Third, ask the firm why they practice your area of law. This will be very telling, and you will know instinctively if they are passionate about this area or just paying the bills. This is your life and your money, so take the time to ask the firm and really listen to the answer and make sure it resonates with you and aligns with your values. This helps build the trust that is essential in an attorney-client relationship. If you cannot engage in a trusting relationship with your attorney, then you aren’t giving them what they need to do the best they can to represent you. Full disclosure is critical in helping both you and your attorney to craft the best strategy to achieve your intended outcome.
Ultimately, there is no truly “perfect” choice when it comes to choosing an attorney. The best choice you can make is a well-informed one. You need to research your options thoroughly, and be ready to ask any and all questions you have during the initial consultation during your search process. Due diligence goes a lot further than just throwing money at the hotshot lawyer on all the bus and billboard ads all around town. Use your common sense and seek out the best fit for your situation.