Choosing to file for divorce or even bankruptcy is never easy. However, the recent spate of lockdowns across the country has pushed many families to the breaking point. Lockdowns may have forced families to stay at home full-time with an abusive family member, or due to the business environment, which has made it possible for many to earn a living.
Either way, the need for good lawyers to help moms and dads, or anyone else who needs help has never been more critical. But finding the best lawyer is never an easy process. According to Jacobson, Julius & Harshberger, the important thing is to find a lawyer who can “handle divorce and other family law matters with care, diligence, and discretion.”
But how can you measure this? The answer is that it is more an art than a science as you ultimately need to find a lawyer who makes you feel comfortable. With that in mind, here is the mom’s guide to choosing a lawyer.
Research, Research, Research
When looking for an attorney, you do not want to just Google lawyers in your area. Yes, this might be a good starting point, it is crucial to have a process in place to talk to several lawyers and get a feel for which one will do right by you and your family.
You do not want to get sidetracked by how law firms market themselves. As such, you want to focus more on the profiles of the lawyers you talk to, their experience in situations like yours, and their approach. Remember, you are the customer, and as such, you need an advocate, not someone who will mindlessly file papers on your behalf.
When you talk to prospective counselors, you want to ask them pointed questions such as have they worked cases like yours and then analyze their responses to see how they mesh with your expectations. Following this step will put you in a position to make an informed decision on who will best represent you.
Know What You Need
While the reason you need a lawyer is that their experience will help you navigate the ins and outs of the law, you do not want to start the process without knowing what you need. For example, if you are considering bankruptcy, you will want a lawyer who understands the process.
But if you are seeking representation in a divorce or another family law matter, then you will want to have a lawyer with experience in this area of the law. Start by defining your needs. This might not be legal terms, or it could be in terms of the outcome you are trying to achieve.
Having this goal in mind will help you to have a more detailed discussion with prospective attorneys and, by extension, protect you and your family.
Sometimes the reputation of a lawyer can precede them. This can be especially handy in negotiations as it could help to tilt the playing field in your direction if your representative is known as a tough opponent. This is especially true in areas of the law, such as divorce and personal injury, where cases are often decided outside of the courtroom.
You cannot always get a lawyer with 40-years of experience. But you do not want this to be your lawyer’s first case either. Remember, experience matters. An experienced lawyer will help you to understand the process, and they will be in a position where they have been there and done that. This sort of mental muscle memory is vital as it will give them the agility to stay in control no matter what is coming their way.
Lawyer jokes aside, you want the lawyer representing you and your family to be honest and hardworking. If they are not, then you might end up spending a lot of money with little to show for it.
As professionals, lawyers should understand that their reputation is everything. While there are bad apples practicing law, you want to make sure that they are not representing you. If you are not sure of the integrity or the reputation of the lawyers you are considering, then ask for references as talking to former or current clients could be an excellent way to understand how they will approach your case.
Being a lawyer is not a 9-to-5 job. Those who are most successful can relate to their clients on a personal level, which requires a rare level of compassion – especially as most lawyers are handling multiple cases at any given time.
As such, you will want to find an attorney who can identify with you but not get emotionally attached. In this way, they can remain an impartial, but committed, advocate for your goals. Doing so will help you and your family in the long run.