Involving in a legal matter is often a daunting task, especially when it comes to family matters. In that case, you need to be very careful about selecting the right family solicitor for you who can ensure the best outcome of your case.
But when you go to decide on a family lawyer, you’ll find many solicitors around you who provide family law services, which will make your task more difficult. So, how do I choose a family solicitor?
Well, to make the right selection of a family law solicitor, you need to consider several things like doing proper research and gathering referrals. You need to look for their experience, legal knowledge, ability to build relationships with you or understand your needs, and most importantly ability to resolve your dispute.
In this guide, we’ve put together all the considerations in detail which will help you to select the right solicitor for you. So, let’s get into the guide.
How Do I Choose A Family Solicitor?
If you’re getting a divorce, or want to draft your estate and wills, or prepare for custody, or prenuptial agreements, or settle down other family issues, then a family law solicitor can help you the most.
Now, you may be wondering, how do I choose a family solicitor? Here are the steps that you should consider while choosing a family solicitor for you.
Create A List Of Family Law Solicitors:
First, you should make a list of good family law solicitors. The best way to do it is asking your relatives, friends, or colleagues if they could recommend their lawyer.
Another great way is requesting a referral from another lawyer who doesn’t practice family law. They will be well aware of the lawyer’s reputation in the local community and will be able to help you find a qualified lawyer to handle your case.
Then, you can search on the web, here you’ll find several options to choose from. For example, if you’re from Dublin, you can search with Family Law Solicitors in Dublin, and you’ll get numerous options from which you can choose the best ones and add them to your list.
So, if you know any other lawyer, be sure to contact them to get a family law solicitor. Lastly, you can contact your state’s bar association based on areas of expertise and location.
However, you should keep one thing in mind that you should not make any decision solely based on the recommendations and referrals. In this stage, you just need to put all the recommended solicitors on a list and then move to the next step.
Research For Prospective Solicitors:
Now it’s time to do proper research based on the list that you have made. The easiest way to do this is by doing a web search. Since most solicitors have a website, you can easily find them by searching their name, country, or city where the solicitor practices on the web.
When researching, you need to consider the following things that will help you narrow down the list and only the best solicitors will be on your list.
- Look over each solicitor’s website very carefully. From the website, you’ll get a clear idea about the solicitor’s practice areas, working process, and other related factors.
- Read the online reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Here, you can look out for websites like Avvo, Yahoo Local, And find Law to see free business reviews of individual solicitors.
- To investigate the ethics complaints against lawyers every state has a disciplinary commission. So, you should figure out if the solicitor has been disciplined simply by typing “disciplinary board” and “attorney” along with your state into the browser. And then search by solicitor’s name from the commission’s website.
- Check out the experience and expertise of the solicitors. Family law is a large area that includes several practice areas. You may find many solicitors who are specialized in divorces but have no experience in surrogacy contracts. Therefore, make sure to see if the solicitor has enough experience in your specific case type so that he or she can handle your case strongly.
- Settlement and litigation: Most family law cases are settled out of court, but some may not as there are alternatives also. So you’ll need a lawyer who is equally comfortable negotiating the settlement and in the courtroom. Thus, you must ask your solicitor for their training and experience in family law negotiation, mediation, and cooperative law. Also, ask them if they have experience in handling your case in court if the settlement effort fails.
Make the list Narrow:
Once you’re done with the research, you can begin narrowing down the list. Which solicitors you will list here depends entirely on you and your needs. Make sure not to make the list too long. Simply keep those who are eligible to handle your case and fit all your requirements.
Remember, the next step is reaching out to those solicitors to discuss the case. Here a longer list can be unmanageable or may make you confused.
Set Up A Meeting:
Take your list and try to contact each lawyer personally. Most solicitors provide their contact no or email to ask if they are available.
It will be great if the solicitor offers a free consultancy. That way, you can talk to a solicitor for free for about 30 minutes or more and get to know them, their work process, and have an idea if you can work with them or not.
On the other hand, some solicitors offer paid consultation, which is also a great way to meet them and find out if they are fit for you or not.
Interview Prospective Solicitors
After consulting with the solicitors, you can fix a meeting with the prospective ones. In this meeting, you need to make sure to look for how they communicate with you and their promptness. See if the solicitor’s personality and thinking are matching with you.
Though the consultation process takes most of the time talking about your case, you need to prepare a set of questions to ask them. Here is a list of questions that you may find useful to consider-
- When did you qualify as a solicitor or when did you specialize in family law?
- Do you have experience in handling legal matters like my case?
- Are you a member of Resolution?
- Who will handle the job or who will fight the case for me?
- What if I talk to a former client? Can you give me a referral?
- Will you be my primary contact and what is the best way to communicate with you?
- How often do you send a bill?
- How do you keep me informed of developments in my case?
- How many cases you’re handling currently or how heavy your caseload is?
- What is the possible outcome of this case?
- How do you offer to resolve my case?
- How long will it take for my case to end?
- What do I need to do to instruct you?
- What kind of case do you usually handle and who is your general client?
- Is there any other way to solve my family’s legal problems?
- Will this be a collaborative effort?
- Can you guide me about what I need to know about my situation or case?
While talking to them, you can make notes for further use. This will help you to compare the answers of different solicitors and make the best possible decision.
Make The Final Decision:
After successfully completing all of the above processes, you can make a final decision about whom you want to hire. If you’re still confused then take some time and analyze everything to get a better understanding of things.
Remember, your chosen solicitor will be your partner throughout the case, and you need to share your sensitive and personal information with them. So, to make the process easier you can ask yourself the following-
- How comfortable would you be to work closely with this solicitor and share all your personal information?
- Did the fees seem reasonable to you?
- What does your gut instinct tell you?
- Was it easy to contact the lawyer or was it difficult to hold him?
- Did they listen properly and answer your question correctly?
- Are they able to understand your needs and requirements?
- Do you think that you can trust this solicitor?
- Do they explain things in a way that makes sense to you?
What Makes A Good Family Solicitor?
We understand that when someone is going through a family breakdown or is considering a separation or divorce, often the journey to continue a court case becomes difficult and hectic for them. Also, meeting a solicitor for the first time and sharing your personal information and issues are not that easy.
Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that you are working with a good solicitor who can understand your needs and proceed in accordance. So, here’s what makes a good and idle family solicitor –
- An idle solicitor should have years of experience in practicing family law and must have a good reputation.
- Should be able to offer both mediation and collaborative law services to keep options open for you.
- They should act sensitive and compassionate about your needs while handling your affairs.
- Dedicated, passionate, and driven towards achieving a successful outcome for all the clients.
- A good listener, who tries to understand the client’s needs and problems sensibly, and based on that make the correct decision.
- The family law solicitor should be trustworthy so that clients can feel comfortable and safe to share all their information.
When you contact a family law solicitor, be sure to be as clear as you can about your needs and requirements. You’ll find many solicitors who will speak to you free of charge. This way, both of you can decide whether you’ll be a good fit for one another or not.
Remember, only with the right solicitor you’ll be able to move forward and hopefully achieve the best outcome for your case. So, if you want to consult or select a family solicitor you can consider this guide about how do I choose a family solicitor. It will help you to get the right as well as the best one.