We strongly recommend that you shop carefully before you hire a lawyer. Lawyers are not cheap. An average rate runs around $350 an hour. A family law case can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
You shop for a house, or a car so shop for a lawyer. You are about to spend a very large amount of money
Check out at least half a dozen and interview three or four before making a choice. Remember, you are about to hire someone who could change your life forever. Take your time.
Contact them by email or fax with a written list of questions and briefly outlining your case.
In most cases, you can email the lawyers by clicking on their listings as you browse. It would be even easier if you create your email first. Then you could just cut and paste it into the email right there as you browse. (Remember that your email and fax are not secure, so do not write anything damaging.)
Make a Short List of Two or Three Lawyers
Now, make appointments and go to see each of the lawyers personally. Interview them as if you were hiring them to work for your company.
Meeting With Prospective Lawyers
Bring all available documentation and make notes about your problem before meeting with your prospective lawyer for the first time.
It will allow you to present your problem in the clearest and most organized manner possible. You can then evaluate the lawyer's response to your case and questions.
Ask Each Lawyer These Questions:
How long have you been in practice?
Do you have a specialist designation?
How many cases like this have you had?
Do you go to trial or are most cases settled out of court?
How many have you won?
How much would this case cost me?
What payment plans will you accept?
Who will actually do the work on this file?
How long will this type of case take to see to a settlement or the end?
These are loaded questions, but any lawyer can provide answers to every one of them without difficulty. The answers will help you weed out some lawyers. Lawyers will also appreciate this since it saves both you and them from wasted time and effort.
Changing lawyers is a last resort
to be avoided at all costs.
"Never change horses in mid stream"
f you are on Legal Aid, you MUST get their permission before changing lawyers and they may use this as an excuse to cancel your Legal Aid Certificate.
The best way to avoid these problems is to choose the right lawyer in the first place