Tips on hiring a divorce lawyer
It should not be very difficult to locate and retain a qualified and ethical family law attorney. Here are a few tips that I have heard are helpful in reducing the risk of making a bad hiring decision,
First, make a list and do your "due diligence"Create a list of 5 to 10 potential lawyers by talking with your friends/co-workers, a therapist/health care provider, doing a google search, or by way of a referral from another lawyer.
Once you have created your list, its time to look a little deeper:
1. Check with the South Carolina Bar's online database of lawyers. Not only will you find out where the attorney went to law school and how long they have been in practice, you will also find out if they have been been subject to any disciplinary punishments by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel.
2. Check with Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest and most respected lawyer rating firm in the country. This is a Pier Review rating system that will let you know what other lawyers think about your potential divorce lawyer. While here, run a search for other family law lawyers and see if there are any you want to add to your list.
3. Now go to Avvo and check to see if any of the lawyers on your list are Avvo members. Avvo will provide you some insight into what present and former clients may think about the lawyers you are considering.
4. Go to the website of each lawyer: Is the website modern and easy to navigate? Do they have a blog? Do they focus their practice only in Family Law, or do they juggle several different kinds of cases at one time? How does their web site make you feel?
Based upon this quick study, you should be able to narrow your list to 3-5 candidates.
Now, call and schedule appointments.Be prepared for the consultation with a list of questions. During the consultation, be mindful of how you feel about the lawyer:
* Does the lawyer appear to understand your concerns?
* Does he or she listen to you and directly answer your questions or do they just talk, talk, talk?
* Does the lawyer appear to be objective and honest with you about the facts of your case, or do they seem to be telling you just what you want to hear? When you pay for legal services, you are paying for objective, emotionally neutral legal counsel so that you can make the best legal decisions for you and your family.
* Do you feel a "connection"? Don't be afraid to follow you intuition- is this someone you like and feel you can trust to handle the most intimate issues in your life?
These simple steps are not time consuming and will greatly increase your changes of hiring the best lawyer for your case.