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Questions You Want Answered > General Family Law Information > How do I find a family law attorney?

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You'll note that I was specific in referring to a family law attorney and not just any attorney.  Certainly, all of us who have passed the bar examination are qualified to practice law in the state.  The question is whether you want someone who does a little bit of everything representing you, or if you want someone who practices exclusively or mostly in the area of family law as your legal representative.  It's kind of like asking who you would want to perform brain surgery on you - a general surgeon or a brain surgeon.  

That said, how do you decide which attorney to hire?  There are, admittedly, a lot of us.  The first thing to do is seek out people who are divorced.  Ask them which attorney they used, and which attorney their spouse used.  Ask them what they liked and disliked about each.  Did they feel they were well represented?  Were they satisfied with the representation?  If they could have changed anything about their attorney, what would they have changed?

Next, and I say this with some trepidation, check the ratings websites.  Read the reviews.  Remember that happy clients do not always write reviews, and if they do, those reviews are not always long and detailed.  Angry people write reviews, and they tend to be lengthy and very detailed.  It's kind of like when you go on Amazon.com and read a review of a product.  There are always bad reviews.  The question is how many of them are there and what do they say?  The second question is how many positive reviews are there and what do they say?  

Third, and most important of all, is to find an attorney who is a good fit for you.  A good fit is someone who makes you feel secure.  A good fit is someone whose temperament complements yours.  A good fit is someone whose philosophy of divorce mirrors yours.  Unreasonable people tend to hire attorneys who are just like them.  Reasonable people do the same.  People who just want to fight hire attorneys who just like to fight.  

The first step to finding that good fit is the person who answers the phone.  They work for the attorney, and hopefully, have been for some time.  How they are with you reflects how the attorney will treat you as a client.  If you like them, make an appointment.  Don't be afraid to interview an attorney, and if you don't feel 100% comfortable, interview somebody else.  Don't feel pressured to hire the first attorney you meet.  This is an intimate relationship.  The attorney will know all of your deepest darkest secrets, so you need to feel absolutely comfortable with them. 

Last updated on September 4, 2013 by Karen Robbins, Attorney at Law