Insider Tips for Choosing Your Divorce Attorney or Mediator

Whether you’re a man or woman, the dumper or dumpee, one of the very first things you probably realized you needed to do to get divorced is that you need to hire an attorney. If you’re like most people, you probably asked a friend or family member who’s been divorced who they used and then promptly hired that attorney. It wasn’t until after you’d already plunked down your retainer that you had any idea of what working with this attorney would be like.

If this sounds like you, you might be in for some surprised. This article will help you to better educate yourself about what you can and should expect from your attorney. AND how to select a new one if you decide to adjust course on your representation.

If, however, you’ve not yet selected an attorney, then READ THIS BEFORE you retain one.

STEP 1: Develop your short-list of attorneys. You need to interview (yes, interview) at least 3 attorneys before deciding whom you want to represent you. Go ahead and ask your friends and family for referrals, if and only if, your friends and family felt comfortable with their attorney.

STEP 2: Decide on the questions you want to ask your short-list of attorneys. One of my attorney friends wrote a great article for my website – “How to Choose an Attorney”. You can check out her article on my website with the link below. In addition to the questions she suggests you use to interview your short list of attorneys, I also suggest you ask about the minimum billing increment. Attorneys typically bill by the hour for their services and have a minimum billing increment. What this means is that if an attorney has a minimum billing increment of 15 minutes and they receive a call from a client that lasts for 10 minutes, the attorney will bill their client for 15 minutes of time.

STEP 3: Schedule the interviews. Attorneys are busy people and you might not be able to get in to see them as quickly as you’d like. You probably knew this already on some level, but sometimes having the reminder helps.

STEP 4: Prepare for the interviews by getting yourself a notebook that you use to track the answers each of the attorneys provide to the interview questions you decided on in STEP 2.

STEP 5: Interview each of the attorneys on your short list. The key here is to remember that the attorney will work for you. You have the responsibility to make sure you’re choosing differently if your first choice doesn’t work. If you decide you need to choose differently, just start at STEP 1 again.

STEP 6: Select and retain the attorney you believe you will be best able to work with during your divorce. Once you’ve completed all of the interviews, allow yourself some time to review all the notes you took during each interview and then choose your attorney.

Choosing the correct attorney to represent you when you divorce is vitally important. Divorce changes your life in ways most people can’t predict. Because of the changes, you’re going to want someone in your corner who has YOUR best interests in mind. By following the 6 steps above you’ll be able to find the best attorney for you.

Your Functional Divorce Assignment:

If you’ve not yet hired an attorney, follow the steps above. I rarely believe it’s a good idea to divorce without the help of an attorney or mediator. OK, I’ve not yet seen a case where it’s a good idea to divorce pro se. There are just too many things that can get misinterpreted in filing paperwork on your own. So, please, do yourself a favor and save future headaches by working with a professional now.

If you’ve already hired an attorney, remember your attorney works for you. It’s not unusual for me to hear stories from clients that their relationship with their attorney isn’t working. (These are the ones who hired me AFTER hiring their attorney.) What I remind them of is the fact that their attorney works for them If your attorney isn’t representing you the way you expect, then schedule some time to discuss your expectations. Most attorneys are more than willing to understand how best to serve their clients. Oftentimes, it only takes a simple conversation to clear the air and get things back on the correct path again.

Online Attorney Directories – How to Evaluate a Legal Directory on the Internet

There are a number of websites that purport to have lawyers waiting to help. The reality is most of these websites are only attorney directories created by marketing teams who have no understanding of the law or, in many cases, who have no connection to a real lawyer or law firm.

These online attorney directories often end up in the top of the search engine results. The marketing teams help ensure this happens. This leaves you, the consumer who is looking for an attorney, with the obstacle of having to evaluate the online attorney directory. Here are some tips for evaluating online lawyer directories as you search for the right lawyer.

  • Determine whether the directory is a paid directory.
  • Paid directories are those that require lawyers to pay a fee to be listed in the directory. Paid directories usually have the most accurate contact and practice area information. Attorneys who pay to be included in the directory have an interest in making sure their information is correct.

    The downside to these directories is they may have very few attorney listings. This raises the question as to what types of attorneys pay to be listed on an online legal directory. Many successful attorneys do not have to incur this expense in order to carry out their trade. Other very good attorneys do incur this expense, but most of them do not do it regularly. For example, attorneys who are just starting out, are changing practice areas, or are relocating to another state may initially use these directories as they establish their new law practices. Is this the type of lawyer you want to hire? If so, the paid legal directory may be just what you are looking for.

  • Scrutinize free attorney directories.
  • Not all free online lawyer directories are bad. There are some very good ones. The best online legal directories usually have some direct involvement by attorneys themselves. For example, many free online attorney directories have forums where lawyers answer free legal questions. This allows the attorneys to get the word out about their practice and their expertise, while helping point folks in the right direction.

    Some other free online attorney directories focus on compiling contact information for lawyers. Most of these directories compile the information without any direction or input from the lawyers who are listed in the directory. These directories stand out as they usually just provide a listing of attorneys. These directories often scrape the information off of legitimate websites with the sole aim of generating advertising dollars for themselves.

    A recent trend is for these websites to have an attorney profile page that can be “claimed” by the attorney. The purpose here is to bring visitors to the directory using the search engines thereby generating advertising revenues for the directory. The directory may also hope the lawyer will notice the profile and “claim” it by entering their information. Very few attorneys actually claim profiles in this manner. Indeed, many of them have to contact legal directories and ask to have their names removed from the directory. Thus, you should avoid any attorney directory that indicates attorneys should “claim” their profile.

  • Avoid attorney rating sites.
  • Attorneys help clients with a multitude of legal issues and the facts of each case are different. The work of attorneys cannot be boiled down to a number or other rating. These rating systems often try to gauge an attorney by the number of years the attorney has been in practice. Older is not always better. Statistics show that most complaints filed with state bar associations are filed against attorneys who have practiced a number of years. These complaints relate to failing to provide quality client service to failing to keep abreast of the law. While it is somewhat rare to see the same complaints filed against younger attorneys, this has no bearing on how the attorney is likely to handle your particular legal matter. You should avoid attorney directories that rate attorneys in this manner.

  • Avoid the attorney directory that includes prices.
  • Attorneys are highly regulated. The attorney professionalism rules for every state say that attorneys must charge reasonable fees. What is reasonable for a particular matter is dependent upon a great number of factors. Unless you have provided all of this information to the attorney directory, it should not quote prices. This seems like common sense, but it needs to be said. Avoid attorney directories that include pricing information.

    These steps should help you screen the online attorney directories you find in the search engine results.

    Bellevue DUI Attorneys

    Bellevue DUI Attorneys Specialize in DUI Defense

    Working with Bellevue DUI attorneys is something you should do if you are arrested for DUI and want to win your case so you don’t end up with a criminal record. Bellevue DUI attorneys can help you to minimize the penalties imposed if convicted or even help you to successfully defend yourself against the charges. Imagine losing your license and not being able to travel to work each day or being incarcerated and not being able to spend time with your family. If you have Bellevue DUI attorneys on your team, you can minimize the chances of this happening to you. Don’t think of hiring an attorney as an expense; think of it as an investment in your freedom and your ability to drive and do all of the other things you normally do. If you think of it this way, the expense of hiring a specialized DUI lawyer is minimal compared to the value of all the benefits Bellevue DUI attorneys provide.

    Consulting with Bellevue DUI Attorneys

    Your first consultation with your new attorney will be one of your most important meetings. This is where you will sign your agreement outlining payment terms and other conditions of representation and officially hire the attorney to represent you as you face DUI charges. You’ll be asked you explain your case to your attorney and let him or her know about any special circumstances that may exist. Once they have all the information they need, your Bellevue DUI attorneys can get started on preparing for your case. Your attorney may find expert witnesses to testify during your trial or look up case law that can affect how your case is handled. Depending on the type of case being presented against you in court, your attorney may also choose to have your chemical test sample retested at an independent lab so that they can confirm or refute the results achieved by the police lab. All of this work will help when your criminal trial comes around and it’s time to present your defense in court.

    Administrative Hearings with Bellevue DUI Attorneys

    Working with Bellevue DUI attorneys can also be important in keeping your driving privileges from being taken away. Because driving under the influence is punishable with an administrative penalty of license suspension, your life can be made much more difficult if you are arrested for DUI. Imagine not being able to drive to work or go to the doctor for a much-needed medical important. This can really happen if you don’t Bellevue DUI attorneys to help you with any DMV hearings that are scheduled. If your attorney represents you, you may be able to get a restricted license that you can use to at least get to work and other necessary appointments. This will cut down on the hassles you experience in trying to find a friend to give you a ride or having to use buses or trains to get everywhere.

    Criminal Sentencing and Bellevue DUI Attorneys

    Bellevue DUI attorneys can also be a great help when it comes time for sentencing. Because you may be convicted of DUI if your case is not strong enough or if you just don’t get a good verdict in court, having Bellevue DUI attorneys to work with is very important for getting your life back on track after DUI charges. Working with one of these attorneys can help make the difference between spending time in jail and being able to be on probation and still have a chance at employment and a good family life.

    Benefits of Bellevue DUI Attorneys

    There are many benefits of working with Bellevue DUI attorneys to prepare for and present your case in court. The first is that they are specialized attorneys who focus solely on DUI defense as their careers. You won’t be working with someone who has a medical malpractice case one day and a murder trial the next. Your specialized attorney will have access to witnesses and information that can help you win your case. In terms of preparing for your case, your attorney will know the right questions to ask and how to prepare your defense so it has the best chance of getting a good result. Working with Bellevue DUI attorneys has many benefits and greatly outweighs any costs associated with hiring an attorney to defend you against DUI charges. If you’re facing a DUI charge, contact your local Bellevue DUI attorneys before it’s too late.