The holiday season is here, which means your inbox is probably flooded with e-mails about sales, promotions and must-have purchases. If you are unhappy with your current counsel and a new divorce attorney is on your shopping list this year, here are some important considerations to remember selecting new legal representation:
- Don’t be afraid to browse. Any seasoned consumer knows you have to shop around a bit before making a purchase. The same principle applies when picking a new attorney. Ask for referrals and then speak to several attorneys before making your decision. You will spend a significant amount of time working with your selected counsel, so it is important that it’s a good fit. A trustworthy attorney should encourage you to explore your options before making a choice, so you are confident in your decision and feel comfortable with your new counsel.
- Read the reviews. Once you find someone you like, do some research! Your new attorney should have experience in handling matters similar to your own. While any lawyer can tell you they have the necessary qualifications, the right one will have examples to back it up. Reviewing their bio, LinkedIn, blog posts and articles will help you do your homework.
- Make a shopping list. You should identify and write down your objectives at the outset of your search. Why are you unhappy with your current counsel? Is your current lawyer too easy-going? Too aggressive? Unresponsive to your inquiries? When consulting with a potential new lawyer, explain your dissatisfaction and ask targeted questions to ensure that the switch will remedy those concerns.
- Don’t miss the sale. Timing is critical. Whenever an attorney takes over a case in the middle, it takes time to get up to speed. Your new attorney will need to review the file and become knowledgeable about what has happened in your case to best assist you. If you think you want to change counsel, don’t hesitate and wait until you have an upcoming trial date or other big court appearance. Unless the court will grant an extension or adjournment, the right attorney for you may not have the capacity to get on board so quickly.
Katherine A. Nunziata is an associate in the firm’s Family Law practice, based in the Morristown, NJ office. You can reach Katherine at (973-548-3324) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.