What to Look for When Hiring a Family Law Attorney
Hiring a Family Law Attorney
If you are facing a family law matter, your emotions are running high and you need an attorney that is not only going to be caring and compassionate to your particular situation, but one that is going to be committed and experienced enough to get you through the process. Some lawyers practice in a multitude of practice areas at the same time: divorce, custody, personal injury, civil litigation, immigration, bankruptcy, traffic and criminal defense. When your family and finances are at stake, you owe it to yourself to take the time to actually meet with and talk to a qualified family lawyer. You should hire a lawyer that you believe is best-equipped to protect your rights, while still making the time to be personally dedicated and committed to you and your cause.
Questions To Ask Any Family Law Attorney You Are Considering Hiring:
- How long have you been in practice? (Experience is the key.)
- Do you limit your practice to family law matters, or do you practice in other areas as well? (A “Jack of All Trades” is generally a master of none.)
- How many cases do you handle at any given time? (A high volume practice may not be a sign of a high quality practice. You want a lawyer that is going to treat you like an individual and not just a number.)
- Will you appear with me at court or will my case be handed off to an associate? (Many clients pay for a lawyer’s “name” and never see that lawyer after the initial consultation while the case is actually handled by an eager but inexperienced and over-worked “associate.” At my office, you get what you pay for. 100% representation and interaction with a lawyer every step of the way. There are no associates, secretaries or paralegals to hand your case off to.)
- When was the last time you handled a case similar to mine? (No two family law cases are the same. I treat every case as unique as the family unit.)
Sadly, many lawyers will say and do almost anything to ensure that they are hired when a new client calls— even if that new, big case involves an area of the law in which the lawyer has little or no experience. Many lawyers find themselves overwhelmed by new and unfamiliar procedural rules and statutory requirements in cases they had no business handling — to the detriment of their clients. Lastly, many lawyers make promises they know they can’t keep just to get your business.
I can tell you that I limit my practice to family law matters. I have never handled a criminal charge, immigration issue, bankruptcy or traffic ticket. I have litigated several divorces, child custody and child support cases. I have drafted hundreds of Wills and administrated many estates. I take pride in limiting my practice to family law matters because if it’s important to your family it’s important to me.