The Intangibles that your Lawyer brings to the table are perhaps the most important to consider in the area of Divorce and Custody. By intangibles, I mean the personality of your potential lawyer; the outlook of your potential lawyer; or your potential lawyer's philosophy and approach to resolving divorce and custody matters. You may think you want a "bulldog," but it's important to dig deeper than that. The Intangibles of Vibe, Philosophy, Perspective.
Good Vibe? Consider how you feel when speaking to your potential lawyer. Does the conversation flow easily? Do you get a "good vibe" or 'good sense" of the person? Some people gel and some don't. It's not personal. It just adds to each of our unique identities. Make sure you feel good when talking to your potential lawyer, because they will likely be with you for the foreseeable future and some cases several years. Make sure you feel like you can be honest with your lawyer. Many people hide things from their lawyer. This is a mistake. Your lawyer cannot properly prepare your case, if they learn of the skeletons in your closet from the other side. This isn't the time to be shy or embarrassed. So, make sure you feel like you can trust your lawyer, before you hire them to represent you.
Philosophy. Find out your potential lawyer's philosophy. Do they believe in a more solution-oriented approach? Do they strive to negotiate agreements or are they quick to litigate with a more adversarial bent? Where is there vision? Do they talk to you about long-term goals and intentions, or are they focused on the moment? Matters of family conflict have the potential to leave a lifetime of baggage, so it is important to consider how many bags and the weight on your shoulders that you are willing to carry. Find out how often your potential lawyer settles cases and how often their cases are decided by a judge. Find out also, if you will have your potential lawyer's personal attention, or if someone else in the office will be working on your file. Remember, you want to feel good with whoever you hire. So, if you are talking to one person, but another lawyer handles your file that you have not met, then that could be a problem. Ask to meet the other lawyer, so you can make the best choice.
Perspective. Some lawyers do not like to share personal information, others don't mind. Regardless, I think it is worth the inquiry. You are not just hiring a lawyer, you are hiring a person. Does your potential lawyer have kids? Are they married? Are they divorced? Where did they go to school? Every person brings to the table a different outlook on life. You want to get a sense of your lawyer's unique perspective in life. By the end or your matter, they will know many intimate details about you, so it is not unreasonable to know who you are sharing with.
Most Important Key to Rember:
Any lawyer can stand by your side in a courtroom. Any good lawyer can argue the law and the facts- there's only so many arguments. But your best lawyer, is the one that you want by your side because you feel that they understand you and your goals and are advocating for you to the best of their ability.
Don't get stuck on the money. You may have sticker shock, but remember the lawyer you choose is going to play a key role in your present circumstance, which will have a massive impact on your future life. Like buying a house. Think long-term and consider all the variables.