Whenever you need a family lawyer with you, it means you are probably going through some hard times. It may be a divorce, a child custody battle, or dealing with child support.
While there is a multitude of reasons why you or your family might need a family lawyer to see a process through, it is always in your best interest to have the best possible person with you, and on who you are able to trust something that will bring consequences to your life.
But how can you distinguish a good lawyer from a not-so-good one? Are there best practices to follow in order to find the best possible match for your case? And the answer is yes. While not an exact science, following those tips will minimize the chances of you choosing a lawyer that will bring even more headaches and stress to your life.
On the following topics, we will see them through and briefly discuss them to make sure that you are ready to find a lawyer that fits your needs.
Make Sure Of Their Area of Expertise
While this may sound redundant, consider their area of expertise. There are multiple areas where law focuses their studies and work – corporate lawyers, employment lawyers, or even criminal lawyers. It is important you find someone who focuses on the area of law that best fits your needs.
Even within family law, you might be interested in someone with more experience in one of the areas inside of it to make your case run smoother and quicker. For example, you may have a situation where you need to figure out child support payments for one or more of your children. A family lawyer who specialises in child support is more experienced than one that focuses on divorce or child custody, even though they also will be able to help you.
It is important to find a good family lawyer instead of others because they will be the ones who will be up to date with changes to legislation.
Do Your Own Research
The best Law firms and attorneys have a website or other internet presence to market their services, as well. You might be able to locate the lawyers’ areas of expertise there and determine whether they apply to your situation. Their internet presence is an amazing first step to finding out if they best fit your needs and finding more information about the lawyers.
Furthermore, you might be able to find reviews of the company, if it is a law firm, or about the lawyer itself that detail other people’s interactions with them and their client-service practices.
To determine if this firm or lawyer is the right one for you, it is critical to try to gather as many reviews of the professionals as you can. You can find and consider hiring hundreds of lawyers in Calgary, so it is crucial to complete this part of the investigation to learn which offices to avoid and which ones have a good reputation.
If you are able to find if they have worked on cases similar to yours, even better. That way you will know that they may be a good choice for you.
Another amazing way of doing your research is finding references. There are numerous ways to obtain legal references. These can come from close relatives, close friends, coworkers, or other people who have previously used the lawyer’s experience and may have some positive or negative experiences to share.
Checking your local legal association is another way to look for lawyers or to verify a professional you are interested in employing. You might check The Law Society of Alberta in Calgary, a body that oversees the legal industry here, as they offer lawyer directories and references for your particular case.
Compare Your Choices and Meet Them
After doing your research, there’s a good chance you will still have a few professionals in mind and be unsure about which one to choose. Comparing all lawyers might be one approach to rule out a few choices and narrow down who, with their unique blend of abilities and experience, will best meet your needs.
Most legal offices and lawyers provide free consultations to possible customers. This benefits both the client, who can assess the professional, and the lawyer, who can decide whether or not to accept the job.
Before moving forward with that professional, you will also have the opportunity to ask the attorney any questions you may have concerning your case at this time. It will be very helpful at this stage to have questions ready before the meeting and to have a clear idea of what you need from that lawyer. While reviewing them, make notes of the things that stood out to you.
In addition to the lawyer’s technical proficiency and experience, it is crucial to focus on other factors. Pay attention to how they are treating you as a person and as a client. Have free consultation appointments with as many lawyers as you like to gather more information about them and compare them so you can make an informed choice.
It helps at this point to trust your instincts. You will be spending a lot of time together dealing with your situation and getting advice from them, it is crucial that the person handling your case matches your personality needs and that you can trust them. You need to feel seen, understood and heard, and trust that this professional will defend your rights.
Other factors can come into place, such as success rate, availability, and how responsive the lawyer is, but overall it is best practice to do the most research you can and compare your options.
Consider any misconduct the lawyer may have that you found through reviews, and how honest they were during your meeting with them.
If during any stage you thought that the professional you had in mind and you did not understand each other, don’t feel pressured to keep working with them and try someone else. Your family lawyer will fight for your best interests and defend your rights in different scenarios and will adapt themselves to your specific needs, having someone you can trust is definitely best for you.