How to Select a Great Lawyer

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start and what to look for in the quest to find your lawyer. Below are a few ideas to help you along this path.

In your quest to find a good lawyer:

  1. Ask friends and family for a referral for a family lawyer that they have used previously. Did they get the results you are looking for?
  2. Look at the Divorce Answered Services directory for an appropriate lawyer in your area
  3. Consider your situation. Do you need a specialist lawyer? Has that lawyer worked on similar cases to yours.
  4. Research your short list of lawyers. Google them, review the website and see if you can find other information or references
  5. Is the lawyer willing to work with you on your case? Some lawyers are engaged as a legal advice for those representing themselves. Other lawyers are open to the client drafting letters in an attempt to keep costs down.
  6. What turn around in time should you expect a response to a query?
  7. How much is the lawyer per hour?
  8. Are you a compatible match? The lawyer could be very skilled but not a good personality match. Are you able to tolerate this?
  9. Is the lawyer familiar with the Judges in the court that your case will go through?

Once you have your short list,

  1. Ensure you have completed your Divorce Answered Checklist.
  2. Make an appointment with the lawyer
  3. Get your documentation together including two copies of your Divorce Answered Affidavit Tool (one for you and one for your lawyer)
  4. Make a list of questions that you need answered by the lawyer
  5. Arrive 10 minutes early to your appointments
  6. Once your lawyer has a little bit of an idea about your situation, ask for a schedule of costs.
  7. When you are happy, READ the retainer or engagement of services documentation, THEN SIGN it. You don’t have to sign it immediately. Read it and ask if you have questions before signing.

Some people, for individual reasons, are not happy with their lawyer. It may be the advice, the invoices or just a personality clash. Don’t be afraid to change lawyers. There is absolutely no shame in doing so. However, before you switch, or even you aren’t switching but want to check on the advice given, you are always welcome to get another professional opinion. When you meet your “second opinion” lawyer, be upfront and honest that you are asking for a consultation on what has been advised to you. The professionals will appreciate your honesty and being upfront. You won’t be the first person to change lawyers and or seek a second opinion and you won’t be the last. You will however be comforted knowing that you are either on the right track or have new-found confidence to change tracks.

Disclaimer

This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. DivorceAnswered.com.au cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd