Regardless of why you are hiring a family law attorney, you want a lawyer who has experience with cases like yours, is comfortable dealing with any legal situation that may arise, and who you trust to give your case their full attention. Here are some steps you can take to find the right professional for your case.
Ask for Recommendations
Other members of your community, including your friends and family, can be a great resource for finding a good lawyer. If you know anyone who has ever been in a similar legal situation, ask them if there is an attorney they would recommend to you.
If you don’t know anyone who can recommend a lawyer to you, you can also find local family law attorneys through an attorney search database such as Avvo. From there, you can conduct interviews to decide which attorney is your best bet.
Interview the Attorneys You Are Considering
At this point, you probably have a few family law attorneys you are considering. Before hiring anyone, it’s a good idea to conduct an interview to ensure they are a good fit.
You may want to prepare some questions to ask each prospective attorney, such as these:
- How long has this lawyer been practicing?
- How much of their practice is devoted to the area of family law you are seeking help with?
- How much experience does the lawyer have with cases like yours?
- Who are the lawyer’s typical clients? Are they people like you?
- What is the lawyer’s approach? Do they “go for the kill,” or do they prefer amicable resolutions?
- If you want to avoid court, are there any alternatives for solving your legal problem?
- Does the lawyer have any conflicts of interest?
- Does the lawyer think you have a good chance of legal success?
- Is the lawyer available to take your case immediately, or do they already have a full caseload?
- What is the fee structure? Can the lawyer work in your budget?
- What is the best way to stay in contact if you hire this lawyer? How long does it usually take them to get back to clients?
Many lawyers provide free consultations so prospective clients can discuss their situation, ask questions, and determine whether the lawyer is a good fit for the case. These consultations can be done via phone, email, or Zoom during a pandemic.
After conducting these interviews, you should have a sense of which lawyers may be a good fit. Hopefully, one lawyer will stand out as having the most experience, availability, or ability to work with clients like you.
It’s always wise to choose a family law attorney who makes you feel comfortable that your case will be handled properly. Don’t choose someone who seems to lack experience with cases like yours or who seems too busy to give your case their full attention.
Focus on Related Experience
If you are still not sure which family law attorney to hire, choose the one with the most experience related to your case.
The lawyer you choose should be comfortable with any potential legal pathway, whether that’s a settlement negotiation, trial, or something else. Don’t choose a lawyer who seems hesitant to work in a court setting if you think there’s any chance you will need them in court.
It’s also a good idea to choose a local lawyer, preferably one who regularly works within your county. Nearby lawyers will be more familiar with local laws and courts, so they will generally be better equipped to help you.
Check That You Understand the Fee Structure
It’s important to understand the fee structure before hiring a legal professional. Some family law attorneys may have different types of fees depending on the type of work they are doing.
The most typical fee arrangement is an hourly fee, where the lawyer charges you for each hour they work on your case. Senior lawyers usually charge higher fees than less experienced lawyers, associates, and paralegals. Also, some lawyers may charge different rates for different types of work, such as legal research or court appearances.
It’s Your Decision
Every family law case is unique. While your situation may be similar to that of a friend’s or family member’s, your needs may be different in some respects. Your lawyer must have the right experience and approach to help with your specific situation.
Even if one of your friends insists that a certain lawyer the best in the field, they may not be the right professional for your case. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide who to hire.
Looking for a Family Law Attorney in Everett?
Anderson Hunter Law Firm has been serving the Snohomish County community for over 100 years. Our family law attorneys have experience with divorce, adoption, custody, child support, relocation, and many other types of cases. Learn more about our family law practitioners and contact us today to set up a consultation.