When it is time to find a family law or divorce attorney here are a few things to consider:
Family law and divorce credentials:
The first thing to consider when you set out to find a family law or divorce attorney is whether the attorney’s practice is focused on family law and divorce or does he/she do a little bit of everything? Family law and divorce is one of the most challenging and complex areas of legal practice. Experienced family law and divorce attorneys usually only handle those types of cases plus a few additional matters that may be related such as estate planning. An attorney may handle other case types for various reasons but to practice family and divorce effectively requires that family law and divorce be the primary focus of their practice. Has the attorney received recognition from professional groups for their practice and experience as a family law and divorce attorney?
Are there positive reviews of the family law or divorce lawyer or law firm online for you to see? Are the reviews informative or just numbers based on simple criteria such as years of practice? What is stated in the reviews? Do the reviews indicate traits or skills that you are looking for? Does the lawyer or law firm have client reviews posted or available for you to view? Are the reviews positive? What attorney or law firm traits are mentioned in the reviews? Also, do the attorneys have profiles or ratings on www.Avvo.com? Are the ratings on the websites at least a “good” or better ?
Attorney or law firm website:
Have you learned about the potential attorney from his or her website? What impression did you get from the website? What attorney or law firm traits are recognizable from the website and did they appeal to you? Does the attorney or law firm appear to share your values and seem likely to represent you in the way that you want to be represented?
Does the attorney have mediation skills? Is he or she educated or involved in alternate dispute resolution? Attorneys who have been trained as mediators or collaborators have refined negotiation and mediation skills. Settlement and negotiation can save you a lot of money and emotional strain if it means no litigation. Trained mediators are often respected in the community in courts where their ability to analyze and resolve cases is appreciated.
Law Firm Technology:
Does the firm utilize modern technology for communication and case management? Is the technology available for online document sharing and collaboration? How about video conferencing and secure messaging capabilities?
Has the attorney handled appeals to the Virginia Court of Appeals or Supreme Court involving family law or divorce issues? Appeals involve the practice of law at it s highest form. Not all attorneys handle appeals due to their complexity and difficulty. An attorney who has handled appeals in family law and divorce cases has practiced divorce and family law at its highest levels and argued legal issues before panels of the most respected judges in the state. This experience lends to their effectiveness in the trial courts.
Taking everything into consideration, do you feel like you could work well with the attorney you are considering? Family law and divorce cases are frequently emotional and straining. Do you feel as if the attorney you are considering will be empathetic, committed, understanding, and willing to speak with you openly and honestly about your case?