Many people hire the first lawyer they meet. Others interview several lawyers before deciding which one to hire. How many you interview may depend on how much time you have, the urgency of your situation, how many lawyers there are to choose from and how quickly you find one you like.
Tell the lawyer about your situation. Take a list of your assets and debts and sources of income with you. A copy of the last several years' tax returns can also help speed the discussion and make it more meaningful. A narrative or outline of the important events in your relationship with your spouse can also be helpful.
Make a list of things you want to discuss and take it with you to the interview. Ask questions. Then ask more questions. Listen carefully to the answers and write them down. Review the answers later and think about them. Listen not only to the information the lawyer gives you, but also to the way it is presented. Think about how the lawyer related to you. While a lawyer may be appropriately optimistic about your case, do not hire a lawyer simply because that lawyer predicts a better outcome than another lawyer.
Here are some questions you might ask when interviewing a divorce lawyer:
• What is likely to happen to me?
• How much property will I get?
• How much support will I get?
• How much support will I have to pay?
• Do I have a choice of courts?
• Does it make a difference?
• Do you have associates or paralegals?
• How do you decide who does what work on my case?
• Are you reachable by phone?
• If I call and you aren't available, how is my call handled?
• How much do you charge for travel time, secretarial time, photocopies, postage, faxes, long distance calls, mobile phone calls, supplies, computer use or anything else other than your time?
• What expenses do you pay from the money I pay you and what do I have to pay directly?
• Under what circumstances would you refund all or part of my retainer fee?
• Do you have any personal feelings about the positions you would have to take if you represented me?
• How often are you out of the office in court, at conventions, on vacation, and for other things?
• How do you cover my case at those times?
• How much do you know about the judge who will decide my case if it goes to trial?
• Do you think we can work together?
• Will you be available at the times that are convenient for me?
The Renton law firm of Mogren, Glessner & Roti, represents clients in a variety of family law cases. We have 4 attorneys for you to chose from. Please visit our web page at http://www.mgrlaw.com/ for more information.