Maybe you’re looking to get divorced? Perhaps you’re trying to gain custody of your child? In any case, you’re searching for a family lawyer.
The question is: “how do I find the best family lawyer near me?” Ask no more! We’re going to discuss the process in detail below.
Type “Family Lawyer Near Me” Into Google
You should start your search by typing “family lawyer near me” into Google. This will bring up a list of viable family lawyers in your area, regardless of where you live. In addition, it will bring up links to their websites, reviews from past clients, and overall star ratings.
Once you’ve obtained this information, you should comb through it, using it to determine which lawyers are worth your time. You should then make a list of such lawyers so that you can compare them against one another and research them further.
Think of this as compiling a pool of candidates. You’re not going to choose a lawyer at this point. You’re just going to narrow your list down to the best family lawyers in your area.
Compare Experience Levels
Different lawyers have different experience levels. Some are just getting started in the field. Others have been working professionally for decades. The key is to choose one with a bit of experience under his or her belt.
Experience is important for obvious reasons. It enables a lawyer to move past his or her mistakes and hone his or her skills. The is why experienced lawyers are generally a safer bet than inexperienced ones.
We recommend choosing a lawyer with at least 2 years of professional experience. Note, though, that, generally speaking, the more experience a family lawyer has, the better off you’ll be. In any case, make sure to use an experienced lawyer.
Ask About Specialization
Family lawyers tend to work in the same general realm. However, they can have specializations within that realm.
For instance, one lawyer might be a general divorce lawyer. Another lawyer could be a custody lawyer. Some lawyers specialize in alimony cases.
When choosing a lawyer, you need to find one whose specialization suits your case. You don’t want to hire a custody lawyer to handle a childless divorce case, for example.
Note, specialists are typically a better bet than generalists. This is because specialists have a hyper-focus on the types of cases that they specialize in. They’re experts on their respective niches.
Get a Good Feel for Each Lawyer’s Personality
Not every lawyer jibes with every client. Everyone has a different personality, after all, and some personalities can clash. As such, when searching for lawyers, you need to get a feel for their personalities.
Most lawyers offer free consultations. These are just short introductory meetings where you discuss your case and see what the lawyer has to say about it. It’s a perfect opportunity to get to know a lawyer and determine whether he or she is right for you.
Note, don’t settle for a lawyer that you don’t feel comfortable with. You need to be yourself around your lawyer and put all of the pertinent information out on the table. Trust is key.
Inquire About Each Lawyer’s Working Style
Some lawyers are lone wolves and handle their cases, for the most part, on their own. Sure, they might have a secretary and a paralegal on staff, but when it comes to the actual case, they’re the ones that do most of the work.
Other lawyers are parts of large firms and, while they will certainly participate in preparing your case, they will also get a good amount of help from other legal professionals. When hiring lawyers like this, you might find that you talk to assistants more than you talk to the lawyers themselves.
Both types of lawyers can provide value. In the end, it’s about who you’re most comfortable with. If you want a close personal relationship, you should probably go with the former; if you’d rather work with a team, the latter is the better option.
Make Sure the Lawyer Is Located Close to You
Just because you’ve found a lawyer “in your area” doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is in your area. If you live in a big city, he or she could still be hours away.
You don’t want to have to travel hours every time you need to talk to your lawyer. As such, when making a hire, you need to make sure that your lawyer is located relatively close to you.
We recommend finding a lawyer within 30 minutes of your home. This way, you won’t have to waste an entire day just trying to get to a meeting.
Ask About Cost
When it comes to the cost of a family lawyer, results will vary seismically. Generally speaking, the more successful a lawyer is, the more he or she will charge. This also means that experienced lawyers tend to charge more than inexperienced ones.
As such, when comparing your candidates, you need to ask each of them about their rates. Some will charge as little as $85 an hour; others will charge over $400 an hour. Find one that fits into your budget but which still has a solid reputation to boot.
Remember: if you’re looking for a family lawyer, the stakes are probably high. So, it’s worth spending a little more money if it means getting good representation.
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