Your First Visit to a Family Law Firm
There are some things that are universally true; one of them is that you should only ever hire a family law firm you can trust. Regardless of any other bits of information you think you need, when you’re calling around talking to lawyers about a potential case you have, you should never run with an attorney that doesn’t seem like someone you can rely on. Fortunately, you have the entire time between meeting them and handing them a check to make that decision. Here’s what that actually looks like.
The First Call
The first time you’ll have a chance to talk to your lawyer is when you call them to ask about your case…maybe. Sometimes, you’ll just end up talking to a paralegal, or a receptionist, or a less-busy lawyer at the same firm. Regardless, you can get a good feel for the attitude of the place from that first call, whether you end up running with the same family law firm in the end or not.
You Will Want:
- A notepad, for…well, notes.
The Initial Consultation
The consult does not put any obligation on you at all — it’s just a chance for you to sit down with your prospective family law firm and share the basics of the case, and get the basics of their style. You are essentially, at this point, interviewing each other to determine if you can work well together. If so, great! If not, move along — there’s no shame in asking a dozen different family law firms for their free consults and picking the one that was best to you.
You Will Need:
- The notepad again,
- Any and all documents relevant to your case,
- A list of questions you need answered,
- Professional dress,
- A check for the initial fee, if any.
You Will Want To:
- Show up early,
- Be completely honest with all of the details, and
- Be ready to sit back and let the lawyer direct the conversation.
There are some questions it definitely pays to ask at that first interview. First of all, you want to establish a baseline of communication — how often will you hear from them, how long will it take for them to return your calls, and so on. Second, you want to establish what we like to call the ‘aggression baseline.’ Does your lawyer have an eye on some form of mediated or other non-adversarial solution? Or are they keen on getting on the floor in front of a judge and/or jury and hawking their skills?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions — only right and wrong answers for you. As long as you’re comfortable and the lawyer is, too, there are generally few reasons why you shouldn’t move forward.
Too much information?
We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.