Finding the right family lawyer is an important process. After all, you'll be trusting this person to handle matters that might be incredibly personal. When you start searching, you'll probably be inundated with advertisements - but this isn't always the best way to find an attorney. Instead, your search for a good family law attorney in Monterey should follow a very specific path. It's important that you follow each of the steps below.
Start With What You Need
It's a good idea to start by thinking about what you need from an attorney before you start making phone calls. Are you looking for someone who is going to help you with paperwork, or do you need help in court? Are you looking for guidance during a complicated custody case or do you need help with an adoption? Answering those questions will help to set you on the right path towards finding a great attorney.
There are plenty of attorneys in Monterey, but you'd be surprised by how few can actually handle any specific type of family law case. There is only so much time in a lawyer's career, after al everyone can specialize in every aspect of the law. You want to make sure that your potential attorney is the type of attorney who can actually deal with your specific legal needs. If you can't go to an attorney for your specific problem, you'll need to find someone else.
Find Someone with Experience
Once you've determined what type of lawyer you'll need, you must start looking for lawyers who have experience in that area. Family law is a huge umbrella, one that covers everything from pre-nuptial agreements to child custody arrangements. While there are many lawyers who can rightfully advertise that they have experience in family law, not all of them will have experience with the specific type of custody that you're seeking. Your job is to locate someone who knows family law, knows the type of situation in which you find yourself, and who has enough experience to know whether he or she can handle that type of case.
How do you find a lawyer who is experienced enough to handle your case? Most of the time, you can just ask. Lawyers in California are prevented from claiming expertise in certain areas by ethical rules. The vast majority of attorneys are very quick to point out when a case is outside of their comfort zones and will usually refer you elsewhere. If you find yourself stuck looking for an experienced lawyer, you might want to check out the website of the California Bar Association - it will give you the ability to search for attorneys by area of specialization.
Look for Reviews and Recommendations
Once you have a few names written down, you can start asking around to figure out more about their reputations. It's easier than ever to find out the reputation of an attorney thanks to the internet, so don't be afraid to check out review sites. While review sites will certainly only give you part of the story, they can help you to establish a pattern. If an attorney only has negative reviews, there's a good chance you won't have a good experience with him or her either.
It's also a good idea to ask people you trust about specific attorneys. If they've worked with a lawyer in a situation similar to your own, ask for a recommendation. If they can't recommend their own attorney, they might be able to point you in the right direction. Some attorneys also do a fair bit of work referring potential clients over to other lawyers, so speaking to any attorneys you know is also a good first step.
Talk to Lawyers
Finally, take a moment to speak to your potential attorneys. The relationship you have with a lawyer will be important going forward, so you must speak in person. Ask your attorney basic questions about his or her experience and the types of cases he or she has handled. During this process, try to get a feeling for his or her personality. Even a great lawyer might not be worth working with if you cannot get along. Trust your first instinct when it comes to lawyers so you can feel comfortable as your case begins to move forward.
Finding a great attorney in Monterey doesn't have to be hard. Think about what you really need from a lawyer and proceed from there. Your lawyer needs to be experienced, ready to work, and must have a personality that works well with your own. If you can find a lawyer who has all of those qualities, you should be able to move forward knowing that your legal matters are in good hands.
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