For anyone dealing with family legal matters, finding a trustworthy and reliable family lawyer is crucial. A good attorney understands how to effectively address whatever issue might exist at hand—for example, a parenting arrangement—and work toward achieving the desired outcome. The lawyer a parent chooses might make the difference in achieving a favorable divorce decision.
But how do you begin searching for a Honolulu family lawyer? Where should you look, and, moreover, what traits should you seek?
Step one: make a list
First, compile a list of potential family law attorneys and law firms. Draw from useful resources, such as the following:
- Word of mouth—Other family members, or trusted friends or colleagues may be able to recommend family attorneys they used to handle past legal matters.
- Other attorneys—Often, lawyers who do not practice in a certain field offer past or current clients professional referrals for free or for a small cost.
- Internet resources—Online databases and websites such as Lawyers.com can be useful for finding lawyers in a particular location or who practice in a certain field. These databases make it easy to quickly access contact information for a number of family attorneys throughout Hawaii.
- Local bar associations—Most state and local bar associations in Hawaii offer free referral services for family lawyers throughout the state.
Step two: schedule consultations
After collecting a short list of potential family attorneys, contact each one to set up a consultation. Depending on the legal matter, this first meeting may be free of charge or may cost a small fee. Prepare a list of questions to ask each attorney, and be sure to provide him or her with sufficient information to evaluate your family legal matter. In these meetings, try to get a sense of the lawyer. Ask yourself—does he or she seem like the right fit to handle your case?
Step three: decide on a lawyer
Eventually, it will be time to choose a family lawyer. While there is no single trait that makes a good lawyer, most qualified family attorneys possess the following characteristics:
- Positive reputation—Is this particular attorney or law firm well-known in the region? Has the lawyer attained any notable verdicts, or received any awards or other forms of recognition?
- Ample experience—Does this attorney regularly handle family legal matters similar to yours? Has he or she been in practice for several years?
- Easily accessible—What policy does the attorney have regarding correspondence? Will he or she provide timely responses to calls, emails, and other attempts at contact? An accessible attorney makes sure clients know they are a priority.