Whether you are in need of a divorce lawyer in Maryland, a DUI attorney, or a work injury lawyer, there are certain steps it would behoove you to take before hiring an attorney. Of course, as we have said before, divorce lawyers are not universal experts. While all attorneys are required to have a basic understanding across state and federal law, many of them choose to focus on a specific area during law school, and their particular knowledge and experience will determine their helpfulness in your unique cases. Here are some general tips you can follow to hire the best attorney for your divorce.
First, do your research. If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, for example, the Injury Law Education Center is an excellent place to start. Also, ask friends, family and trusted co-workers for advice. How did they choose their attorneys? Would they work with them again? Do they recommend them for your case? Word of mouth can be a great resource, but, beyond that, each state has a directory of practicing attorneys in the area. However, directories have their own unique criteria for admitting lawyers to that listing. In some instances, an attorney need only have passed the bar, while in other areas, the lawyer must hold an AV-rating or some other accolade. The criteria for listing a car accident lawyer, may differ from the criteria for listing a workers compensation lawyer.
Look at cost. Before you choose an attorney, see that the attorney offers free consultations. If not, this may be an early sign that you can not afford his or her help. If you do go to a free consultation, ask if the attorney works on a contingency plan, or if you can work out an affordable payment plan before paying thousands in legal fees. Once you go to a consultation, you would be wise to assess the following:
- What is your lawyer’s philosophy? His or her approach to the law and what is considered justice.
- Is the attorney very involved and proactive or more of a peripheral advisor?
- Will your lawyer closely manage your case, or pass most of the workload to an associate. Note that you are likely to have a legal team working on your case and you would be wise to get to know each member.
- What do you hope to obtain? Are you willing to endure a long legal battle to obtain what you want, or would you prefer a quick and painless settlement.
The above guidelines may prove helpful to you, should you find yourself in need of legal services. There are more specific guidelines throughout this site that will help you with respect to your divorce. However, these tips will prove useful whether you seek the assistance of a divorce attorney.