Most of us don’t expect to be in a situation where we need a lawyer to handle a family matter, but it can happen to anyone. Choosing the right family lawyer is crucial when you find yourself in that position.
However, with so many attorneys vying for your business, how do you know which one is the best choice for your needs? Whether you’re going through a simple or messy divorce, looking for custody adjustments, or handling other family concerns, use these tips to find someone who can help you through this emotionally difficult time.
1. Establish Trust
First, before anything, your attorney must be someone you feel confident you can trust. This person will be the person who is fighting for your best interests, and you’re going to have to be wholly honest with them. If you feel you’re being judged negatively or can’t trust the lawyer with sensitive information, keep searching.
You also need to be confident that they know the laws and can practice in your area. For instance, Sydney family lawyers have the jurisdiction to conduct legal activities in Australia, but not overseas, and vice versa.
2. Check the Lines of Communication
Many lawyers are readily available for the consultation, but once they’ve convinced you to sign their contract, they’re nearly impossible to get a hold of. Ask the receptionist and attorney about the communication policies, and check the reviews of previous clients. Will you be working with a paralegal, a different lawyer, or the one you consulted with? Who do you call or email with questions?
It’s common to have someone in between you and the main attorney. If they’re reasonably good at what they do, they’re going to be busy, and that’s a great sign. But you should be able to get a response within a 24-48 hour period, if not before.
3. Get Word-of-Mouth Referrals
There’s nothing quite as good as the recommendation of a lawyer from someone you trust through a word-of-mouth referral. Which law firms have stellar reputations, and which ones are sketchy and should be avoided?
You can’t believe every review you hear, and you’ll have your own unique experience, but the more reviews you collect from people you know, the more clear the picture becomes about who you might want to hire.
4. Find Out the Fees
No matter how incredible the reviews are about the lawyer you’re looking into, if you have a limited budget, you must stick to it. Find an attorney who is willing to discuss the realities of legal costs and can work around your budget.
If you know the costs ahead of time, you can decide if hiring this person is feasible or if you need to keep shopping around.
5. Look For Their Experience
There are some industries where new workers are fresh and in demand. The legal world isn’t one of them. When it comes to something as vitally necessary as hiring someone to take on your case you want to find a lawyer with solid experience and expertise in your particular situation.
Find out how long your potential lawyer has been practicing and what kind of experience they have in your type of case. What are their success rates? What do they think about your case, and the possible outcomes?
Experience matters when you’re facing a legal concern. The best family lawyers will be trustworthy and honest, and they’ll have the expertise to bring your case to its maximum closure.