Top 5 things to look for in a family lawyer
Choosing a family lawyer is one of the most difficult things to do. You’re stressed and not really in the right frame of mind to be analytical when evaluating a lawyer. Let’s face it you wouldn’t need a family lawyer if you weren’t in some type of distress. So what should you look for in a family law lawyer?
Tips for selecting a family lawyer
Here are a few top things you should look for when selecting a lawyer to help you with divorce or custody issues.
- His or her qualifications – Check with the local courts to confirm that they are certified and allowed to practice in the area you are located. Also check in to any memberships they may belong to history of the practice, testimonials and word of mouth.
- Dig in to the lawyer’s track record – Now just like auto mechanics lawyers come in all flavours. Some good, some not so good. Dig in to the local records to find out if they have had any instances of professional misconduct, have they been barred anywhere etc… Also, dig around online and check for reviews on lawyers to see what others are saying. Often where there is smoke there is fire and trust your gut instinct.
- Court room experience – Ultimately a lawyer will have to face a judge in court. Although you may think this should be a given not all lawyers know how to act in court. I’ve seen a number of lawyers crumble when facing a judge. Check in to how many cases your lawyer has gone to that were in front of a judge and not a mediator. What was the outcome of these appearances?
- Family law experience – Not all family law lawyers only practice family law. A number of them branch out in to other areas of law in order to keep their business a float. Check with your lawyer to see how much time they spend dealing with matters like yours. Do they have amble experience or is this all new to them too?
- How well do they communicate – This is a tricky one. A lawyer needs to listen and hear what you’re saying. At the same time they need to cut through the emotions and help you deal clearly with what truly matters. Some lawyers are more than willing to sit for hours on end listening to you complaining about your ex-partner simply to gain more billable hours from you. Be very careful with this type of lawyer. On the flip side some lawyers ram through what they know best and simply don’t care about what you want. So, communication is key for both you and your lawyer.
For more information read our reviews of lawyers and add your voice to the conversation.