Choosing a Family Law Attorney; Comfort and Communication are Essential
In today's world the practice of law has become very highly specialized. Gone are the days where the client would walk into his or her lawyer's office and the lawyer could competently perform a wide range of services from probating a will, filing a Social Security disability claim, closing a real estate transaction, or calculating child support. In some cases a lawyer may want you to believe that they are highly specialized in the area of family law. In choosing a family law attorney it is of utmost importance that you be comfortable with your attorney and his or her capabilities. Knowing you attorney's reputation is important but do not miss the opportunity to ask questions and get to know the attorney you plan to hire in the initial consultation. This will also help you form the basis of your communication with your potential lawyer. If you and the lawyer cannot communicate effectively during the initial consultation you should not expect vacations to become easier during the stress of divorce litigation. During most initial consultations the attorney asks most of the questions. But that does not mean you should not ask any questions. In addition to asking questions about what to expect in the divorce process you should ask questions that help you learn about your prospective attorney. If you are planning to hire a family law attorney consider asking them these questions: Who will be the attorney responsible for handling my case? What other attorneys or staff members will be working on my case? What roles will the other attorney or other staff members have with respect to my case? What level of matrimonial experience do the lawyers and staff members have? What percentage of their practice is devoted to family law matters? How will your firm bill me? Can I reasonably expect my spouse to pay some or all of my legal fees? What types of matrimonial cases have you worked on in the last six months? How many divorce trials you tried to completion? What is your preferred method of communication? (Telephone, e-mail, text message, written note, or office conference) What is a reasonable amount of time to expect you getting back to me when you're not in the office or otherwise available? What percentage of the family law cases that you handle resolve without the need for a trial or other hearing? Do you have any specialized training in family law matters? Have you held any leadership positions in any bar association? Have any of your bar association leadership positions been specifically in the area of family law? What drew you to the practice of family law? What percentage of your clients do you sue for non-payment of legal fees? By taking the opportunity to ask questions not only about the divorce process but about your prospective attorney and their litigation style you should develop a comfort with your attorney establish the communication protocol at start of your professional relationship. This will also help you get to know the law firm and the manner in which you can expect your case to be handled. It cannot overstated confidence and communication are essential to a successful attorney-client relationship.
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