Finding the Right Attorney
Updated: Feb 11
There is so much that goes into finding the right attorney for you and your case. A family law case is a very sensitive lawsuit that may involve the breakup of a marriage, custody determinations of your children, and division of assets you have worked hard to earn. Seeking out the right person to represent your goals and interests is crucial in the outcome of your case.
When doing your research, there are several things you should be looking for-
1. Experience-is this their primary area of practice? How long have they been practicing? Do they regularly practice in the area your case will be filed in, or is filed in? Each county and courthouse can be different, so you want to ensure they have some sort of experience in the area and type of case you are dealing with. This is the best way to get accurate advice.
2. Reviews and Referrals-do they have feedback from clients online, and if so, what are those clients saying? Is it recent and credible feedback? Has anyone referred you to them? Personal referrals and client feedback can say a lot about that attorney and firm and what it may be like to work with them.
3. Availability-How quickly can you get in for a consultation? Do they offer multiple options to accommodate your needs-such as phone, zoom or in person? This can tell you a little bit about their caseloads and availability to handle your case. Were they responsive and did they work hard to accommodate the time and date you wanted to meet?
4. Recognitions and awards-have they been recognized by their peers and other members of the community? This can say a lot about their reputation and consistency.
We always recommend meeting with more than one attorney before hiring someone to handle your case. This will allow you really weigh in on who the best option is for you.
When having an initial meeting with a prospective attorney, there are several things you should be looking for-
1. Personality-how do you interact with this person? You will be spending a lot of time working with them throughout your case, whether it be just consulting about options, preparing for a hearing, or working towards resolution. The amount of time you interact with your attorney is significant, and you heavily rely on their expertise and advice. They will also be the one representing you and presenting your case to the judge or jury. Ensure that you believe you can interact well with the attorney you plan to hire, and that they have the type of demeanor and professionalism you would want down at the courthouse.
2. Customer Service, Firm Policies and Practices-what does their firm stand for, and what sort of level of service can you expect? A family law case can be one of the most substantial time of someone’s life. Ask questions on what the firm policies and procedures are regarding communication, hearing preparation, and availability. You want to ensure that they have the time and attention to devote to you and your case in the manner in which you expect.
3. Hourly rates, retainers and invoices-Do not shy away from the money talk. Odds are that this may be a very expensive process for you, and one that you may need to borrow funds for. Be sure to ask questions surrounding the attorney’s hourly rates, who may be working on your case, how often invoices are sent out, and what the expectations are for payment of your invoice and replenishment of your trust account. It is highly unlikely your attorney will be able to quote you an exact amount of what your case may cost, but they should be able to give you some general ideas of different steps in your case and average costs of those phases. Do not be fooled by an attorney who is not upfront and direct about the costs you may incur to prosecute or defend your case.
With over two decades of combined experience handling an extensive range of family law matters all over South and Central Texas, the team at Clepper Harrison & Duffy PLLC are ready to work with you. We never shy away from even the most complex family law case. Our attorneys are litigators and collaborators, ready to utilize their experience and resources to give you efficient and effective representation at every stage of your case. Each attorney has been recognized through multiple avenues, and proudly share their awards on the firm website. Contact us today to schedule your initial meeting. We look forward to hearing from you soon!