The decision to hire a family law attorney is a big one. Once you’ve made up your mind, you’ll want to make sure you ask the right questions so you can hire the right attorney. You want to find an attorney who is both knowledgeable and empathetic, someone who will take the time to understand what you want out of your legal situation and your ultimate goals. Your attorney should be someone you trust and feel comfortable discussing your case with. In order to find the best lawyer for your needs, you’ll need to ask some important questions. This checklist can act as a guide to help you interview and hire the best family law attorney possible.
How Long Have You Been in Practice?
This is a great question to ask any prospective attorney. You want to make sure you hire an attorney with the experience you need for your specific case. You want to make sure the attorney has successfully handled similar situations in the past, so you know they have the skills and knowledge necessary to help you.
How Much Experience Do You Have Handling This Specific Issue?
Again, this is a question you should ask any attorney you’re interviewing. It will give you a good idea of their level of experience and how they’ve practiced law in the past. You can’t possibly know exactly what your case will be like, so it’s important to hire an attorney who has experience dealing with similar cases. You don’t want to hire an attorney whose only handled a few divorce cases and is completely unversed in family law.
How Much Will You Charge?
You can’t possibly know exactly how your case will turn out, so you shouldn’t hire a lawyer who assumes you will be paying their entire fee up-front. Instead, you should try to hire an attorney with a reasonable rate. There are a few important things to consider when hiring an attorney, and the fee is one of them. While you want to stick to a lawyer with a reasonable rate, you also don’t want to hire the cheapest attorney in town because you’ll likely end up unsatisfied with the outcome of your case.
How Long Should I Book an Appointment For?
You don’t want to book an appointment and show up late, only to have your attorney tell you they can’t take your case because they only have 15 minutes. You should always make sure to book an appointment for your attorney, even if you have to walk in late to your first meeting. You don’t want to be late to your first meeting with your attorney because you are new to the process, so always make sure to schedule an appointment.
What Are My Cases Worth?
Every situation is different, so you shouldn’t assume your cases are worth X amount. Instead, ask your attorney what they think your cases are worth and how they will approach negotiating a settlement or taking it to trial. You don’t want to hire an attorney who immediately assumes you want to go to trial, because they will likely ask for more money from you up-front. You want an attorney who will approach your case with an open mind and help you negotiate a fair settlement.
How Will You Communicate with Me?
You want to make sure your attorney will be able to keep you informed and communicate with you easily. It’s one thing to get a hold of your attorney at 3 p.m., but it’s another thing entirely to keep getting calls or emails after that. You want to make sure your attorney will give you a reasonable amount of attention, as well as respond to your communications in a timely fashion.
Will My Faxes Be Attended To?
You don’t want to show up to court with your attorney and have your attorney get behind on your case because of a backlog. Make sure your attorney has their email inbox cleared so they can promptly respond to your emails and court documents.
Do You Take Credit Cards?
This should be a no-brainer. If you have to ask, then you probably shouldn’t hire an attorney. Attorney fees are not only paid by you in cash or check, but your credit card as well. It’s one of the best ways to make sure you stay on top of your payments and don’t miss any payments while your attorney is working on your case.
Is There a Cost-Of-Fee Waiver For Bail Hearing Attendance?
Yes. You should definitely ask your attorney if they will waive any costs associated with attending hearings. You don’t want to have to pay $50 or $100 to attend a hearing, only for your attorney to tell you they can’t attend the hearing. It’s frustrating and time-consuming, so you want to make sure your attorney will waive any associated costs.
Other Terms to Know Before You Hire Your Attorney
You want to make sure you know all the other terms and conditions of your attorney agreement before you sign any legal documents with them. You should also make sure you know how long you have to file your lawsuit and how long your attorney is working on your case. It’s easy to forget about these things, but they are important, so you don’t end up with a surprise when your attorney is finished with your case.
Above all, make sure you hire an attorney who you trust and feel comfortable discussing your case with. Your attorney should be someone you can comfortably ask questions to, as well as speak to if you have any concerns or questions. Make sure you interview several prospective attorneys, and don’t settle for the first one who offers to take your case. Instead, make sure you ask the right questions and hire the best attorney possible for your specific needs.