Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest Post: Amy Zimmerman on How to Pick a Family Law Attorney

The below post has been sent in by Amy Zimmerman:


A family law attorney can perform wide range of services that may be necessary for safeguarding the interests and assets of your family. Whether you are interested in setting up a trust for your estate, a living will, or want to settle a marital dispute, you may have to consider several things before finalizing your family law attorney.

Here we are listing few things that you should ask about during your initial consultation with an attorney to find the most competent legal representative for your family.

* Experience

You must ensure that any attorney you want to work with has the requisite experience in all aspects of the family law. You should enquire whether attorney specializes in family law, and has worked on some cases in the recent past.

You can also ask which cases they are most passionate about, and number of years they have been in this profession. You can also ask for referrals from their past cases they've been involved with.

* Logistics

You must enquire whether attorney will handle your case pesonally, or will it be handed down to any junior in the firm.

In fact, you should try to get a feel whether attorney you are considering will give full attention to your case. Does he or she have necessary time to work on your case? This is really important for the success of your case.

* Communication

You should be clear about the ways to reach your attorney so that you can get quick response. This can help you in making best decisions for your family. Also enquire hour your attorney will keep you updated on the progress of the case. Ask the procedure to communicate with him regarding the case. You should be clear about the systems in place to ensure that you stay updated in a timely way.

* Correspondence

You should request copies of correspondence about your case. In this way, you will stay updated about the progress of your case. You should request your lawyer to send you a copy of all the messages received or sent regarding your case.

* Collaboration

You should ask attorney about his goals regarding your case. Ask whether he wants to work from a collaborative point of view, considering the needs of both the children and parents to handle your case in a better way. Most of the lawyers encourage mediation (wherever possible) in most of the cases.

* Payment

You should ask the payment schedule and terms from the attorney. Will he work on a retainer? What will happen once your retainer is depleted? Will there be any additional hourly rate? Will there be any rate for speaking to paralegals, secretaries, or other staff at the firm?

* Expectations

Finally, you should sum up your consultation with the attorney you are considering hiring by freely discussing your expectations. You should also ask the attorney if he can give you a estimate on the total cost of the fees. Ask what you should expect if you hire them for representing you in the case, and what he would expect from you as his client.

Amy Zimmerman provides a lot of great information to consumers concerning financial service companies online. Her review at Lending Tree scam will reveal to you exactly what you need to know about this service.

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This is an excellent article. I strongly recommend that people contemplating filing for divorce read it before retaining an attorney. Further to the issue of logistics, it is also important that the client to determine what type of resources the prospective attorney has. Is he/she in a large firm? Does the firm have a family law department or is the prospective attorney the only one specializing in family law? These issues are very important if the case is expected to be challenging and labor intensive. If this is the case, the attorney will need back up as well as colleagues with he/she can consult.

Posted by: Reena Sommer, Ph.D. | Jul 24, 2012 1:01:09 PM

I agree 100% with the parts about communication and correspondence. One of the chief complaints that clients have towards their family law attorneys is the lack of communication. In my opinion, the client needs to make sure that those two topics are addressed in full during the initial consultation.

Posted by: Divorce Forms | Jul 24, 2012 2:55:29 PM

Thanks for the great tips! My daughter is on the search for the best family lawyer in mississauga. There are so many options and it is hard to find the right lawyer for you.

Posted by: Sally Johnson | Jul 27, 2012 8:41:03 AM

Thank you for posting such article. It's great to see such eye opening post.There are still many things to learn and more surprises to come.

National Family Solutions

Posted by: Lex Ward | Oct 19, 2012 8:27:22 PM

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