Trust your gut. Are you at ease with this attorney? Do you trust this attorney to work on your case? Do you feel that this attorney really listens to what you have to say, and really hears what is most important to you?
Does this attorney stay current on the constant changes in divorce law? Ask what the attorney does to do this, and how frequently. Does this attorney genuinely like the practice of divorce law, or does he/she complain about it?
Does this attorney have the level of experience and professionalism that you want to represent you? Ask for the names of references - both recent clients and of colleagues that would know of this attorney's work and reputation. Then, check the references.
Is this an attorney who values and is skilled in the art and science of negotiation? Is this attorney's style combative or confrontational? The great majority of divorce cases are settled through negotiation. But some cases should "settle" that don't and the contentiousness of the attorney is often the reason why. (One indication of an attorney's negotiation skills is if he/she is a "certified mediator" - an individual trained in assisting parties negotiate "win-win" resolutions.)
Do you think this attorney is responsive to his/her clients? Does this attorney promptly return your telephone calls? How often does this attorney regularly communicate with his/her clients? Has this attorney taken the time to share with you the overall plan for bringing your case to a conclusion? Does the attorney even have such a plan?
Does this attorney explain how the whole process of divorce works so that the client understands what is happening, knows what to expect, and is less anxious in the process?
Does this attorney provide positive leadership to the client, yet allow the client to make the critical decisions? Does this attorney provide his/her clients sufficient information on which to make decisions? Does this attorney provide a "cost-benefit" assessment to the client so that the client knows the likely cost of contesting certain issues, and the likely benefit to them if they prevail?
Does this attorney work at all times toward the goal of getting the case satisfactorily resolved? Does this attorney realize that without a specific action plan to conclude the case, that the case is likely take more time and money to handle? Does this attorney routinely schedule a settlement conference at the earliest time available? Does this attorney typically provide a settlement offer to the other side at the earliest opportunity? Does this attorney realize that until settlement agreements are tendered, it is not likely to conclude the matter? Does this attorney know that 90 to 95% of all divorce cases settle? However, if settlement cannot result, does this attorney know how to try a divorce case? How many divorce cases has this attorney handled? How many has he/she had to take to trial? How many has he/she been able to settle without a trial?
Does this attorney stay organized? Ask the attorney to describe how this is accomplished in his/her office. For example, is the office a mess so that you wonder how "on top of the work" the attorney is? Have you seen your file? Is it a mess or is it organized? If your file is a mess, can you reasonably expect your case to be getting the efficient and competent attention you want?
Does this attorney encourage or even require the client to take ownership of their case? Has the attorney explained that the more fighting there is, the more that will be spent for attorney fees? Does this attorney keep the billing up to date so the client knows at all times what the legal expenses are, and what work they paid for?
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