There are many articles that offer guidance in the selection of family law attorneys, however, many of these articles provide little insight into the important considerations for selecting the right family law attorney for you. Recommending that the attorney be “competent”, “professional”, or “caring” are obvious traits that you would want in any attorney, but how does one determine if the attorney is, in fact, competent, professional or caring? When interviewing any family law or divorce attorney, the following checklist will assist you in your selection of an attorney for your family law needs:
1. “Do you exclusively practice family law?” — Although a simplistic question, when an attorney answers this question in the affirmative (“yes”), it is very telling of the attorney’s level of experience in handling family law matters. California’s family laws are complex and ever-changing. Attorneys who exclusively practice family law (meaning, they dedicate all of their practice to issues of family law) are usually more aware of the nuances of the laws, the changes in the laws, and how these laws are applied in Court.
2. Did the attorney spend time with you during your initial consultation to answer all of your questions? — Important qualities in any attorney, but especially family law attorneys given the emotional nature of the case, are the attorney’s ability to listen to the potential client’s concerns and the willingness to clearly respond to these concerns. The initial consultation should be an opportunity for the client to assess the attorney’s communication skills. Typically, good communication between an attorney and their client is a key factor in determining client satisfaction with the attorney’s representation of the client.
3. Review client reviews. — The internet offers a wide array of websites that review attorneys, including client testimonials. The best indicator of future representation is the past. Client testimonials, provided from a legitimate source, will offer great insight into the attorney’s practice. You can check if a testimonial is legitimate, or simply an attempt to drive potential clients to another attorney, by clicking on the reviewer to see historical comments.