How to Choose the Right Lawyer
Finding the right lawyer for your needs may seem like an intimidating process, but, as with any other consumer transaction, doing your research is key.
At one point or another, many people find themselves in a situation where they’re in need of the services of a good lawyer. Whether it’s handling a real estate transaction, setting up a business, or dealing with a family law issue, there are a vast number of situations where the experience and expertise of a good lawyer will be necessary.
So, You Need to Find a Lawyer
If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you deal with a legal issue that has emerged in your life, you may be wondering how to find an attorney and how to know if you’re choosing the right lawyer for your particular legal needs.
How to Choose a Lawyer
The first step in the process of choosing the right lawyer, then, is the research phase. Ideally, you want to start with the names of several lawyers, and, as with the purchase of most other services, personal referrals are often the best place to start. Begin compiling your list by asking friends, neighbors, and business associates for recommendations.
How Do You Know If Your Attorney Is Good?
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential attorneys, you can begin the evaluation process. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation, and, as an informed consumer, you should take full advantage of these.
How to Become a Family Lawyer
Have you ever thought about studying or practising family law? This page tells you what to expect from this incredibly diverse area of law.
What is Family Law?
Family Law focuses on finding solutions to issues relating to often complex legal relationships. These include marriage and parenthood among others. For this reason, family law practice can involve work with varying groups from children to the elderly and any others in between. Because family law relates to some very personal aspects of a client’s life, it can be one of the most emotive areas of law to practice.
Family Law Topics
Family Law is incredibly diverse. This means that the topics studied at one institution are often different from those studied at another.
Most modules will feature some core topics (such as marriage, divorce and children) as well as others which will be more specifically linked to the professors’ areas of expertise.
Divorce, dissolution and financial separation
Children, parentage, residence, contact and parental responsibility. This may also include adoption, surrogacy, child abduction and even abuse/neglect
Children’s Rights (taking into consideration a child’s ability to make their own decisions)
Domestic obligations towards families under International Treaties such as the ECHR
Socio-legal Family Law: a more general look at what society defines family as and whether the law has adequately responded to modern societal views. Examples include the law of parentage in the context of a rise in same-sex couples
Family law and the State. This includes the role of agencies and local authorities in childcare and protection
What makes certain family law attorneys better than others?
Over the years I have gone up against dozens of attorneys in my family law cases. Some of those attorneys have been skilled litigators, while others have been absolute hacks. I have decided to attempt to list the attributes that make a fine divorce attorney.
But, before I begin I want to point out that you do not have to guess at which attorneys are good anymore. With online reviews you can see what past clients say about their attorneys.
Devotion to the Client
I have gone against some attorneys who come out swinging, because they genuinely care about their client and their client’s case. On the other hand, it is apparent to me when opposing counsel is not motivated to fight for their client. When an attorney doesn’t care about their client, they do not fight hard and they generally do not prepare well. An attorney who is genuinely devoted to your case is one of the most important attributes of a good attorney.
Knowledge of the Law
At some point there is just no substitute for knowledge of the law. If an attorney is not knowledgeable about an area of the law that is pertinent to their client’s case, they will be at a disadvantage. Make sure you chose a family law lawyer who knows the law well. I am fortunate in that I learned family law at the feet of my very experienced mother who is a Certified Family Law Specialist.
There is nothing worse than having a family law attorney who is scared. Some attorneys are scared of the judge, scared of opposing counsel, and scared of being in court. Make sure you hire a family law attorney who is fearless. In my experience a bold attorney often gets better results for their client. When you meet with a family law attorney to hire them, make sure they are bold and exude confidence.
How to Find a Good Lawyer
Choosing a good lawyer is like choosing any other product or service. It’s best to do thorough research to help you make an informed decision. Once you secure several lawyer referrals with expertise in the appropriate practice area, you should carefully research each candidate. Below are some simple steps to choosing the best lawyer for your legal needs.
Conducting Candidate Interviews
One of the best ways to assess a lawyer’s legal ability is by interviewing them. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation—usually an hour or less—at no charge.
Keep in mind that a higher fee does not necessarily equate with a more qualified attorney. Consequently, a rock bottom fee may signal problems, inexperience, or incompetence.
Consulting the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
The directory includes basic practice profile data on virtually every lawyer in the United States and Canada and detailed professional biographies of leading lawyers and firms in 160 countries. It also includes lawyer and law firm ratings based upon peer reviews, which may help when choosing between two equally qualified candidates.
Asking Other Attorneys
Lawyers know the skill and reputation of other lawyers. Attorneys may be able to provide information about a fellow lawyer that you may not find in a book or online, such as information about a lawyer’s ethics, competence level, demeanor, practice habits, and reputation.
How to Choose a Family Law Attorney
When you have family issues that can’t be resolved on your own, you may need the help of a family law attorney. There are several issues where you want the help of a family lawyer rather than another type of lawyer. It’s important to know what those areas are how to choose a family law attorney.
If your legal issue falls under one of these categories, then a family law attorney can help. They can help to represent your case and help you get the outcome you desire. They can also advise you when your case may not be as strong as you think and when you may want to reach an agreement with the other party rather than seeking the help of the court.
What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?
When you look at the list of areas that a family law attorney can help, it’s important to understand some of the tasks an attorney can do.
Divorce & Child Custody
In divorce proceedings, a family law attorney can help the couple settle their split without going to court. They can do this by acting as a mediator to work through their issues
A family law attorney can draft this agreement as a couple decides the terms of spousal support and division of property.