I have been a local family law lawyer, Fremont, for over 30 years.
Most individuals in their lifetime will utilize the services of a lawyer on several occasions. Most people will not even use a lawyer five times. It can put you in a very uncomfortable position of trying to make a selection of the best available professional whose best suited to address your concerns and accomplish your goals. The purpose of this article is to give you an inside perspective from an experienced lawyer who has counseled thousands of people like yourself.
Here is a checklist of what to think about, consider and to do before you hire a lawyer:
1.You want to visit his / her office, take a look around, talk to the staff, and be prepared for the lawyer to address all your concerns.
2.Carefully evaluate the lawyer’s ability to contemporaneously provide you with comprehensive thorough answers to questions. This is the surest test of knowledge, experience and an ability to be an effective communicator.
3.Ask the lawyer about his employees. Does his firm have back up attorneys that can cover all situations if there is a conflict. The worst thing you can do is to hire a lawyer that does not have the time. He / she will keep postponing your court dates until they are available. They are simply over booked. Also, ask the lawyer about his staff. How long have they been there and who is the family law legal assistant on the staff? If the attorney has long term employees, it tells you that this is probably a good business operation and people will be very experienced. Experienced staff will be very helpful as they will make less errors. Another problem is that if a firm is not well staffed, you will inevitably end up paying attorney fees for clerical matters. I’ve seen many lawyers who type their own letters and also deliver documents for filing to court. These tasks can be handled by clerical staff or courier service at a mere fraction of the cost of having the attorney involved.
4. Ask the lawyer how long he or she has been a lawyer and how long they have had an emphasis in family law.Ask how many clients they have had with similar issues that you have. Have they seen over a hundred clients.Find out if the attorney [lawyer] is often in the same courthouse as the one you will have yours. Almost, without exception, you will always gain advantage by hiring a lawyer with extensive experience in family law and who regularly and frequently practices law in the jurisdiction where your case will be heard. A local practitioner will be aware of not only the local rules, but also the nuances of each particular family law judge in that community. While a new lawyer may have energy and enthusiasm, nevertheless, they will not have the tactics, strategy and timing that takes many years to develop and greatly assists the practitioner in his or her representation of the client. At a high level, and hopefully you will obtain legal counsel of this caliber, the case will be one half tactics, timing and strategy and one half legal theory.In family law, there is much more involved than just using books to look up the law.