LAW OFFICES OF KELLI J. MALCOLM
BRINGING LAW TO THE PEOPLE
Going through a divorce can be one of the hardest events in a person’s life. It is emotional, stressful, time-consuming, and expensive.
Not having the right attorney at a client’s side can make the process even harder. Therefore, it is extremely important that a client find the right attorney for his or her case.
How can someone find the right attorney for their case?
BEGIN A SEARCH
The first step is figuring out where to find an attorney. Often the best way to get a good referral is from friends or acquaintances.
If someone knows the attorney or has worked with him or her personally in the past, the potential client can get a true read on how the attorney is when working on a case.
The State Bar is another good resource for referrals.
Look at the local chamber of commerce sites to see what attorneys are available in the area, or, the potential client can do some online research to find an attorney in his or her area.
Most attorneys have web sites, and these sites can also give a good read on what the attorney is like. If a site does not look professional or has dated information, that can be a red flag that the attorney may not be the right fit.
ATTEND A CONSULTATION
The consultation is one of the most important steps in finding a good attorney. Not only is the point of the consultation for the attorney to get to know the client’s case, but it is also a chance for the client to get to know the attorney.
Just because someone’s resume’ looks good on paper does not mean that the attorney will click well with the client.
- Is he or she personable?
- Does the attorney listen to what the client is saying to him or her?
- Does the attorney seem to take the case seriously and take the time to answer all of the client’s questions?
These are all important factors to consider when going through the consultation. Consider it to be the client’s chance to interview and vet out the attorney.
No one wants to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees. Hiring an attorney can be expensive, especially in family law cases.
Family law cases tend to involve paying a retainer initially with an hourly rate.
Do some research on what the going rate is for attorneys in the area and go into the consultation with those figures in mind. That way the client will know if the attorney is giving him or her a reasonable figure.
FIND SOMEONE WITH EXPERIENCE
It is also important to find someone with experience in family law cases. Many times, lawyers will do a little bit of everything, but it can be hard to truly be an expert in every aspect of the law.
Review the attorney’s background to see if family law is an area on which he or she focuses.
- How many years of experience does the attorney have?
- Is he or she active in the local or state bar’s committee on family law?
Do a little research on the attorney to see what you can find before giving the office a call to set up an initial meeting.
LOOK FOR RED FLAGS
Keep an eye out for certain red flags that can show the client whether the attorney may not be everything he or she wants in a divorce attorney.
For instance, it is good to be assertive in the courtroom, but consider all aspects of assertiveness:
- How aggressive is the attorney?
- Does he or she seem respectful to others?
Ask around to get an idea of how he or she is in the courtroom. It is important that this attorney be an advocate for you, but also be professional.
- How is the attorney’s staff?
The client will be working closely with the attorney’s staff during the case, so it is important that he or she feels comfortable calling the staff and asking questions.
- How quickly does the attorney get back to the client and return calls?
If it takes days or even a week for the attorney or someone in the office to return a call, that is a red flag that maybe the client’s case will not be considered a priority to the attorney.
Not all of these red flags are present all the time, and there is no hard and fast rule to determine if an attorney is a good fit for the client.
However, they can be helpful if a prospective client is trying to get a good feel on a law firm.
CALL KELLI J. MALCOLM TODAY
Divorce is complicated and can be a stressful matter for anyone, and we are here to help you through the process. Call the Law Offices of Kelli J Malcolm today for your free 30 minute phone consultation at 720-261-7287.