Did you know that there are 1,327,910 lawyers in the United States? In NC alone, there are over 30,000 licensed lawyers regulated by the State Bar. While this is a large number to choose from, not all of these lawyers will be good ﬁt for your needs. So what should you look for when choosing a divorce lawyer?
What features should you look for and what should you avoid? How can you ensure that you choose a lawyer that will keep you and your family’s best interests in mind? Keep reading and learn how to choose the best lawyer for your needs.
Read Online Client Reviews
Reading online client reviews for a lawyer is one of the easiest ways to ﬁnd out more about that lawyer’s experience and client service. Reading client reviews is also an eﬃcient and effective way to make good decisions regarding your choice for an attorney.
Suppose you ﬁnd a lawyer’s website. It looks professional and it might seem like a good choice for your needs at ﬁrst, but when you look closer, you might ﬁnd that the lawyer has no reviews or has many negative reviews from previous clients. The clients might complain that the lawyer didn’t listen to their concerns, keep their best interests at heart, or adequately prepare for court, mediations, meetings, etc. The clients might also complain that the lawyer wasn’t very skilled at representing them, they could never reach their legal team, or that fee structures and invoicing was not clearly communicated.
These are all signs that you should not hire that lawyer. Doing so might make you yet another unhappy client. It is better to opt for lawyers who have many positive reviews from previous clients. Look for reviewers who speak conﬁdently about their lawyer’s services, experience and representation. This is a good way to get an idea of how a lawyer treats their clients.
Why Reviews Are Important
A lawyer should be attentive to a client’s concerns and always be prepared and communicate with clients – including responding to a review that a client takes the time to leave. You may also want to avoid lawyers that don’t have any client reviews. These lawyers might be fresh out of law school and might not have much experience yet. These lawyers might also not be very reputable if no one has hired them or felt compelled to leave a review.
It is instead better to choose a lawyer with at least a handful of reviews. The more reviews a lawyer has, the more insight you can gain about what it’s like to work with the lawyer and their ﬁrm.
This can help you narrow down your options and make an informed decision..
Check the Lawyer’s Experience
Does the lawyer have experience with situations similar to your divorce, custody, marital property, or other family law related matter? Some attorneys will practice various types of law when they ﬁrst start representing clients. However, family law can be very nuanced and complex with many deadlines and documents to be provided during the course of the case. Working with an attorney that primarily or exclusively practices family law will help ensure these important details are not missed or overlooked.
Does the lawyer have experience practicing in the county you reside in or that the matter is in? An attorney who knows the culture of the local court, has experience going before the family court judges, and knows the local rules of the local family law courtroom, can be very helpful in determining the strategy and ﬂow of your legal matter.
The Importance of Legal and Client Experience
More experienced family law lawyers also have experience with caseload management and the proper care of clients. They understand the importance and delicacy of the situation you’re facing and want to take their time listening to you and your concerns. They will also think about the best strategies to ensure that you get the best outcome for the case.
They are less likely to miss important pieces of information that might be beneﬁcial to your case. More experienced lawyers are also more conﬁdent. Conﬁdence is important because it shows that the lawyer knows what they’re doing and can conﬁdently represent you in or out of court. It can also put you as the client more at ease. You can rest easy knowing that the lawyer will do all the heavy lifting for you.
Compare Lawyer Fees
Different lawyers charge in different ways. There is typically a fee associated with an initial consultation due to the comprehensive nature of an initial consultation for family law matters. To be prepared for your initial consultation, bring any relevant documents and be ready to discuss personal matters. Beyond that, some lawyers work based off a ﬂat fee structure, but most family law attorneys require an initial retainer. Attorneys charge against the retainer at an hourly rate, and the hourly rate may depend on the years of experience and other variables.
It is important that an attorney and law ﬁrm clearly communicates the fee structure, invoicing, administrative fees, or any other fees associated with their services.
While it may be tempting to ﬁnd a lawyer with the lowest hourly rate, it’s very important you consider other factors such as the lawyer’s quality, experience, support staff, level of communication, etc. Considering all these factors will help you make an informed decision and hire an attorney that best ﬁts your needs.
How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
Choosing the right family law attorney to ﬁt your needs is a big decision. Going through a divorce, navigating a custody dispute, and/or determining ﬁnancial decisions that will affect your future can be very stressful and strategic decisions to make. It’s very important that you have a strong legal team on your side that you feel comfortable and conﬁdent in working with to help protect your legal rights.
There are many options for lawyers when ﬁling for divorce, but you should not rush into a choice. The New Direction Family Law team welcomes you to read our reviews to help you make an informed decision about the best attorney for your needs. To learn more about legal representation in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas, check out our services and schedule a consultation at New Direction Family Law today.