This is the 4th post, Why Caseload Matters In Your Divorce, in the series called, “Got a Good Lawyer?”
The series is dedicated to helping you find the best attorney for you and your divorce. It’ll help you in the decision making process by pointing out some things to consider when you’re deciding who to hire as your divorce lawyer. In particular, I’ve identified 10 criteria to use when you’re evaluating which divorce lawyer is right for you.
So far in the series, I’ve discussed 4 criteria to consider: Communication, Personality, Support help, and Background experience and education. This week’s post is about criteria 5: The Divorce Attorney’s Current Clients and Caseload.
ReCap of the “Got a Good Lawyer?” Series So Far:
For those of you just joining us, here’s a glimpse of what’s been covered so far in the series. For your convenience, I have linked all 4 criteria mentioned below to their previous posts. Simply click the criteria and you’ll be taken directly to the related post to read.
What to Consider Before Hiring Your Divorce Attorney:
- Before you hire your divorce attorney, what are his/her procedures for communicating with you? Do you know what to expect regarding methods of communication and receiving updates on your case?
- Have you met with your divorce lawyer in person? Do you feel comfortable around your divorce lawyer? Do you feel like you can work with him/her?
- Does your divorce lawyer have additional staff on his/her team, such as a legal assistant or paralegal to help him/her with your case, and save you money?
- Does your divorce lawyer practice in the area of family law and have experience with divorce cases similar to your own? What majority of your attorney’s cases are divorce cases?
Now to this week’s topic: Criteria 5,
The Divorce Attorney’s Current Clients and Caseload
The divorce attorney’s current clients and caseload will impact his/her ability to competently serve you.
For example, let’s say that you find a divorce attorney that has a reputation for caring about his/her clients, or you find a divorce attorney that is known for his/her dedication and hard work on cases…
Great! That’s what you want!
However, even with these great qualities, no divorce attorney is immune to the limitations of time. After all, there’s only so much that can get done in a day.
Therefore, the simple fact remains…
If your divorce attorney takes more clients and cases than s/he can handle, it impacts you, as the client, because your attorney won’t be able to deliver the best service possible.
Therefore, to ensure that you and your divorce case get the quality representation and attention that you deserve, don’t overlook the fact that the divorce attorney that you’re considering may already have a full plate. Like this guy…
“How Do I Know If An Attorney Has Time for Me and My Divorce?”
I recommend that you ask the divorce attorney that you’re considering on hiring,
“Do you currently have the time and resources available to competently handle my case?”
I realize that this may seem silly, because some attorneys may say yes because they don’t know their limits, or worst case scenario, say yes because they want your business. However, even in the worst case scenario, I’d still ask and here’s why…
By asking this question, you signal to your divorce lawyer that this is a concern for you. By communicating this concern from the get-go, you ensure that your divorce attorney is made aware of your concern right away. By making your lawyer cognizant of the issue from the start, s/he is able to take the necessary steps throughout your case to ensure that it doesn’t happen. Therefore, by voicing your concern, you increase your chances of receiving quality representation and services. After all, it’s in any lawyer’s best interest to keep his/her clients happy since lawyers depend on referrals from past clients for future business!
One more helpful tip,
Consider As Many Criteria as Possible when You’re Deciding Who to Hire
It’s to your advantage to take into consideration as many of the 10 criteria as possible when you’re judging which divorce lawyer to hire. The more criteria you use when evaluating and deciding which divorce attorney is right for you and your divorce, the more satisfied you’ll be with the attorney you pick in the end.
To illustrate, if your divorce attorney has a legal assistant or paralegal (criteria 3: support help), then the firm can take more clients, than a solo practitioner, because more staff means more people to help with your case and share the work.
Therefore, this example shows how taking into consideration both criteria 5 (the attorney’s current clients and caseload) and criteria 3 (support help) help you make a better decision about if you’re divorce attorney will have time for you and your divorce case, than if you only focused on criteria 5 or criteria 3.
In addition, if your divorce attorney practices exclusively in family law and is experienced with divorce cases (criteria 4: background experience and education), s/he can have more clients at a time, than an attorney who practices in several areas of law, because presumably the general practice attorney is going to be serving a wider range of clients and therefore having to set aside more time to learn and research laws in multiple areas (such as, criminal law, or bankruptcy law) due to having unrelated cases.
Therefore, this example shows how taking into consideration criteria 5 (the attorney’s current clients and caseload) and criteria 4 (background experience and education) help you make a you make a better decision about if you’re divorce attorney will have time for you and your divorce case, than if you solely focused on criteria 5 or criteria 4.
Ultimately, the reason you care about the 10 criteria that I’m sharing with you in the series, is because they will help you find the right divorce attorney for you and your divorce by helping you answer important questions, such as how we used criteria 3, 4, and 5 in today’s post to help you answer the question, “How do I know if my divorce attorney has time for me and my divorce case?”
And as I just demonstrated, it’s detrimental to base your decision only on a single criteria because you just saw how criteria 3 and criteria 4, can impact criteria 5. So when you make your final decision of who to hire as your divorce attorney, just make sure to consider as many criteria as possible.
Thanks for reading. In the next post in the series, “Got a Good Lawyer?” we’ll discuss criteria 6.
Love to Hear From You…
Other factors such as, the firm’s organization and the attorney’s time management skills, impact how many clients and cases an attorney can competently represent at one time.
What else do you think impacts an attorney’s ability to competently represent several clients at a time?
Take a moment to add to the discussion by commenting in the section below.