Twelve Essential Questions to Ask a Family Law Attorney in the Initial Interview

It can be overwhelming to speak to an attorney for the first time, particularly when you are experiencing a challenging situation like a divorce.  Here are some questions you might consider asking in your initial consultation:

  1. How much do you charge per hour?
  2. How much of a retainer do you require?  How often might I need to replenish it?
  3. How can we work together to use your time most efficiently and minimize my fees and costs?
  4. Do you have associates that would be working on my case or will you be doing the work?  If you use associates, what kinds of things do they do for you?
  5. Describe your experience in family law.
  6. Are you certified as a family law specialist?
  7. What does it mean to be certified as a family law specialist?
  8. What are the pros and cons of using different process options for getting divorced? (Such as Collaborative Practice, mediation, and litigation.)
  9. Describe your experience as a Collaborative Practice attorney.
  10. How many Collaborative Practice cases have you done in the last year?
  11. What’s the best way to get a hold of you? (For instance, telephone versus e-mail.)
  12. How much time should I expect to wait before you respond to a voicemail message or e-mail request?

Bear in mind that, regardless of the answers to these questions, you want to find an attorney with whom you feel you connect.  Divorcing can be a long and challenging process, and you want to find the person you trust to help you through it–both because of their competence *and* because you communicate well and like each other.

If you need help finding a Family Law Attorney in San Mateo, please contact us.

By Jessica Lee-Messer, Esq. and Lauren Greenberg Wanderman, Esq.

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