How to Hire the Best Divorce Lawyer in Indianapolis
5 Must-Ask Questions before Hiring Your Legal Counsel
If you are trying to hire the best divorce attorney in Indianapolis, then
there are a few questions that you should ask a potential legal representative.
#1. How many years of experience does the lawyer have?
Remember that experience matters -
a lot. Consider this: If you were having surgery, would you be more confident
in a new graduate or a surgeon who has had several years to perfect his
or her craft? In the legal profession, as with anything in life, there
is no substitute for experience. When choosing a lawyer, make absolutely
sure that they have
a minimum of three years of focused experience in
family law. Remember, it takes no real skill to learn and know the law on paper.
What matters most is the amount of experience that lawyer has had
applying the law in the local court and in real-life situations.
#2. How are the law firms practice areas divided?
Take a look at the areas of law that the prospective lawyer practices.
What percentage of the practice is devoted to criminal defense, personal
injury or family law? Many lawyers offer these as just one of many areas
of practice. If the law firm or lawyer offers a laundry list of practice
areas, remember the old adage about being a "jack of all trades and
master of none." Before you hire an attorney, make sure at least
1/3 of their practice is devoted exclusively to your needed legal area.
You and your case deserve focused attention.
#3. Does the lawyer offer a free consultation, either on the phone or in person?
Would you consider buying a car without test driving it? Most people wouldn't.
When making an important decision like purchasing a car, you want to hear
the engine, test the brakes, and ask questions of the seller. Hiring a
lawyer should be no different. Call and ask to speak directly with the lawyer.
- Are they willing to spend time learning about your problem or issue at
no charge to you?
- Do they seem genuinely interested on the phone, asking questions and gathering
- Does the lawyer offer possible solutions or ideas, or do you get a lot
of "uh huhs" and pressure to make an appointment to retain them?
Family law cases are incredibly important. You owe it to yourself and your
family to make sure you choose a lawyer who is willing to take the time
to listen and understand your issue -
before you commit to hiring them.
#4. Is the lawyer active and involved in the legal community?
This may not seem like much of a consideration, but this factor is actually
very important. Take a look at the website for the prospective lawyer.
- Is he or she a member of any legal associations or organizations such as
the Indianapolis or Hamilton County Bar Associations?
- Have they been invited to speak or make presentations for legal organizations
- Have they authored legal articles?
- Do they volunteer within the legal community?
- Do they have any specialized training such as being a registered domestic
relations mediator, a collaborative professional, or guardian ad litem?
A lawyer who has chosen to be involved and active within the legal community
is not only exhibiting a genuine interest in family law but is also more
likely to be current with the most recent legal updates and trends within
the legal community. Make sure to read the biographies of the lawyer you
are considering hiring - and be sure that person is active and well integrated
within the legal and greater community as a whole.
#5. What does their website look like? What about their office?
Lawyers who take pride in their work will take pride in the appearance
of their website and their office space. Set aside an adequate amount
of time to read and browse the website. Is the website full of broken
hyperlinks and misspellings? Is the information outdated and stale? A
law firm that takes great care and devotes energy to a fresh, informative
website may be more likely to be attentive to your legal needs as well.
What about the office space? Drop in unannounced and ask to speak with
the prospective lawyer. How were you greeted? Was the staff smiling and
happy to see you or were they annoyed and irritated? Pay close attention
to the surroundings as well. Are there random files lying around, miscellaneous
documents strewn about, and general clutter everywhere, or was the space
calm, controlled, and organized? The way a law firm cares for the working
space may be indicative of the kind of work you can expect from the law office.