How to find a good divorce attorney
I have been practicing family law for some 37 years, so I know who the really good divorce attorneys are, and I also know who the not so good divorce attorneys are. How as a layperson does one find a good divorce attorney? There are several good guides for looking for a divorce or family law attorney.
- Best Lawyers in America. Less than 2% of all practicing lawyers make it into this most prestigious group making up the best lawyers in all areas of practice throughout the United States. You have to be voted in by your peers and any quick review of the best lawyers in America, will reveal the very top attorneys in a specific geographical area, including the best divorce attorneys. You don’t get into this group unless you have made a reputation for yourself as being one of the very best.
- Super Lawyers. Less than 5% of all practicing lawyers make it into this group as well. There is some overlap between the Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, but not everyone who gets nominated and voted into the Super Lawyer category also makes into Best Lawyers. Similarly to Best Lawyers, you have to be voted in by your peers. Super Lawyers is nationwide as well and every state has their own guide to the very best attorneys in that state, by areas of practice, including those practicing family law and divorce.
- Martindale-Hubbell. This very well respected guide lists attorneys by geograpahical area, areas of practice and gives a grade as to professionalism and ethics.
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). The academy of matrimonial lawyers, represents the best and elite family lawyers in the country. You can only be admitted to the organization by having years of experience in family law, and being approved by your peers and other judicial officials. A stringent national examination is administered to applicants covering a variety of complex family law issues. The AAML is a great source for finding an experienced and well respected family lawyer in your community.
- Referral. There is nothing wrong with asking a family member or friend to refer you to a divorce attorney, or asking an attorney that you may know to make a referral for you. My only caution is that if you accept a referral from a friend or family member, make sure that the person you are considering hiring is actually an experienced family lawyer and not a real estate attorney or traffic lawyer. You want an attorney who practices only in the area of family law, and has experience doing so.
- Internet shopping. Many indiviuals looking for a divorce attorney do their research on the internet. They go to lawyer’s web sites, they read on line reviews, articles, blogs and other useful information at the lawyer’s web site about family law matters. This is another useful tool when searching for a divorce attorney.
Notwithstanding all of these excellent tools for shopping for a divorce attorney, the most useful tool is setting up a meeting and meeting the lawyer in person. Many family lawyers offer a free initial consultation and the way to have all your questions answered and find a comfort area with any particular attorney, is to meet that attorney in person. The divorce lawyer should not be afraid to answer your questions about your case, as well as their credentials and qualifications. There should also be a discussion about how long things might take and what it may cost.