Attorney holding engagement rings over legal documents with a couple. | New Direction Family Law

Did you know there are 58,087 divorce lawyers in the United States? In North Carolina alone, there are thousands of attorneys to choose from if you need to file for divorce or require assistance with other family law matters. The countless options you’ll find online or by referral can be overwhelming, and not all of these lawyers will be the right fit for your needs. So what should you look for when choosing a divorce lawyer?

Reputable reviews and a proven track record of experience are some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a divorce lawyer. Find an attorney with positive reviews online and check to make sure they primarily, if not exclusively, practice family law. Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the best lawyer for your needs during the divorce process.

Read Online Client Reviews

Reading a lawyer’s online client reviews is one of the easiest ways to find out more about that lawyer’s experience and client service. Reading client reviews is also an effective way to make an educated decision regarding your choice for an attorney.

You can find reviews on a law firm’s Google My Business profile and lawyer review sites, like FindLaw or Avvo. If available, check out how many years they’ve practiced in family law. More experience doesn’t always equal better, but it is a factor you must consider.

When you are looking at an attorney or law firm’s website, check beyond just the professional appeal. You might find that the lawyer has no reviews or has many negative reviews from previous clients.

Some common complaints from past clients might include the attorney did not take the time to listen to their concerns, didn’t work for their best interests at heart, or inadequately prepared for court, mediations, meetings, etc. The clients may have also complained 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.

When reading reviews, look for patterns. Most law firms and businesses will have a few negative reviews, as this is natural. Research shows that businesses with an average review score between 4.0 to 4.7 are the most favorable. Ratings in this range show a natural profile with a strong history of meeting and exceeding client’s expectations.

By doing your due diligence in reading the reviews of an attorney or law firm, you’ll be able to make a confident decision in selecting a divorce attorney.

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 clients’ review they’ve taken 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 or have little experience. Potentially, lawyers with no reviews may 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 twenty total 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 experienced divorce lawyer that primarily or exclusively practices family law will help ensure 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 and procedures of the local family law courtroom, is imperative to the outcome of your case.

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 emotions 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 you need to 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 strongly 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 on 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 a great decision and hire an attorney that best fits your needs.

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer

Choosing the right divorce attorney to fit your needs is a big life decision. Going through a divorce, navigating a custody dispute, and/or determining financial decisions that will affect your future can be very stressful. It’s 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 and don’t feel pressured to make a quick choice. The New Direction Family Law team welcomes you to read our reviews to help you make the right 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. Call (919) 719-3470 to speak with one of our client specialists today!

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