Finding a child custody lawyer is easy. Finding a good lawyer isn’t.
To find a good one, you’ll have to spend time and effort following up on leads. That’s the bad news. The good news is that lawyers need you as much as you need them, so they’ll make it easy for you to find them.
Here are some traditional ways to find a lawyer:
The best approach is to ask someone. “How did you like your lawyer? Did she do a good job?” There’s nothing quite like the personal touch, and if you know someone who was
satisfied with their lawyer, you may be, too. If their lawyer doesn’t handle family law, or can’t take your case, they may refer you to another lawyer who can.
You can ask family, friends, counselors, or even ministers for the name of a good lawyer. Here’s a tip: call a local paralegal or legal typing service. They work with local lawyers every day, and may know who will be right for you. When pursuing a recommendation, remember that your case may not turn out the same. Also, because personal chemistry is so important, you may not be as comfortable with the same lawyer someone else was.
Loose lips sink ships. When asking others for a personal referral, be careful what you say. If you let slip something that could hurt you, they can be ordered to appear and testify in court.
Only conversations with your child custody lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege.
Custody attorneys are almost always listed in the yellow pages. The yellow pages are a great place to find family lawyers because they usually advertise, and they train their receptionists to handle callers who saw their ad. The advantage of using ads is that they may contain useful information-such as initial consultation rates. The disadvantage is that they don’t tell you how competent the lawyer is.
If you look under the heading “Attorneys” in the yellow pages, you may find that family law lawyers are listed under a subheading such as:
o Family Law.
o Family Law-Board Certified.
o Marital and Family Law.
In addition to using the yellow pages, you can also find a lawyer through advertising. A child custody lawyer will usually advertise in newspapers and magazines, or on billboards, radio, or TV. While an ad will tell you the lawyer’s area of practice, it probably won’t tell you much about the lawyer’s competence.