Before you hire a family law attorney, take the time to interview him or her thoroughly to make sure your working styles and goals for the case are similar. Here are seven different categories of interview questions to ask during your initial consultation:
- Do you specialize in family law?
- What types of cases do you usually take on, and what types of cases do you feel most passionate about?
- Also, how many years have you been practicing?
- What percentage of your cases have settled out of court, and what percentage have gone on to trial?
- Do you see my case as particularly unique, and -- specifically -- what expertise can you bring to my case?
- Will you personally be handling my case?
- Do you truly have the time to take on my case at this point and give it your full attention?
- Do you work on retainer?
- Is there an hourly rate in addition to that?
- What happens when my retainer runs out?
- Also, what hourly rate will you charge when I call and speak with your staff, such as secretaries and paralegals?
- Are there any hidden costs I should be aware of, such as filing fees, or additional costs related to photocopies or travel related to my case?
- When can I next expect to hear from you?
- How will you update me regularly about my case?
- How can I contact you when I have questions or concerns, and what is your preferred method of communication (phone, e-mail, fax, etc.)?
- May I request copies of all correspondence you send out or receive related to my case?
- Will you automatically send them to me, electronically or through traditional mail?
- What do see as your goal related to my case?
- Do you work from a collaborative point of view?
- Do you encourage mediation when possible?
- Can you estimate the total cost upfront?
- What factors could potentially influence that estimation?
- What do you expect of me, as the client?
- What can I expect from you as my lawyer?