First and foremost, you should always hire an experienced lawyer. While an associate may work on your case, it is wise to hire an attorney that is Board Certified in Family Law if you have a complex or difficult case.
Once you have determined that the law firm you are talking to is lead by Board Certified lawyers, make sure you are talking to experienced trial lawyers. You would be surprised how many Board Certified lawyers lack courtroom experience. Of course, a lot of cases settle before the parties even go to the courthouse. But if your lawyer does not have experience in the courtroom, he or she may push your case to a settlement that does not make sense for you or your children.
When you’re talking to a trial experienced lawyer, make sure ask the law firm about their efficiency. You should be aware that good divorce and custody lawyers are not cheap. At Walters Gilbreath, PLLC we are certainly not cheap, but we are extremely dedicated to an efficient and polished work product.
We understand that clients get frustrated when they see money being spent on inefficiency. Fax charges. Copy charges. Charges for staff members assisting lawyers. Charges for inefficient court preparation. Charges for inefficient document management. All this adds up quickly, and the client doesn’t see any results from this overcharging. So – we don’t do it.
Here are some questions you should ask the lawyer you are considering hiring:
- Is your office on the cloud? / Are you paperless?
- Does your office use a fax machine or does it operate just on email?
- How often do you bill?
- Do you charge for postage? For calls?
- Do you pass on the cost of legal research to me?
These things matter. And you’ll be amazed by the answers you’ll get from various law firms.
Finally, hire a lawyer that above all else communicates. We find that the number one complaint clients have is lack of communication. Divorce is hard. Custody cases are hard. You need a lawyer who is going to actually talk to you and keep you informed of both the good and the bad at all times.