The selection process of hiring a divorce lawyer is no easy task and should not be taken lightly. First, there are thousands of divorce lawyers in the State of Florida and finding the attorney best suited for your case can be a difficult task.
The resources available for determining which attorney is best to assist you in your divorce case are plentiful. Many people want to preserve privacy regarding the details of their lives; however, asking your colleagues and friends who they would hire is always a good starting point. Word of mouth referrals are the best kind of referrals. You almost certainly know someone that has been through a divorce in the last year or so. Begin by asking that person what they were looking for and why he/she ultimately decided on the attorney they eventually hired.
Remember that personal recommendations are very important and sharing your circumstances may also be therapeutic since you are about to embark on a difficult and transformative journey. Online resources are plentiful as well. Begin by looking at the Florida Bar Associations website to review the individuals your colleagues and friends recommended. After this you can consult AVVO and other websites to assist you. Albeit important, remember that online ratings rarely tell the whole story. Even the best lawyers in the State are not immune to a less than favorable review from an unreasonable former client, or an opposing side pretending to be a former client. Do not rely solely on reviews and ratings. Pay more attention to peer reviews and industry recognition of the lawyers by those in the legal community. Experience is a key factor but do not let your focus be solely on the years the attorney has been practicing law. While experience is extremely important, just because the lawyer has been practicing for thirty (30) years does not mean he/she is the best advocate for your case. Said individual may not have tried a case in five years or more and might not be up to the task to properly assist you, or your personalities may conflict.
After you determine the lawyer or lawyers you intend to meet with, schedule your consultation. This is the only way to truly test whether the lawyer and the firm is going to be a good fit for you. Did the lawyer listen to your concerns during your consultation? Was the lawyer engaged? Did the lawyer provide answers that you understood? The divorce process can be lengthy, stressful and daunting so making sure that the lawyer has a personality and demeanor that works well for you is a key component in this process. Finally, make sure you prepare for your consultation and make the most of your time with the attorney. Have your issues outlined and detailed so you can maximize the effectiveness of your consultation. Most consultations are not free, and the lowest cost is not always the best, and the most expensive does not mean that is the best lawyer either.