Saturday, April 15, 2017

How to Find an Experienced Collaborative Attorney

If you are about to start a divorce proceeding and are considering using Collaborative Law, or if your spouse wants you to consider Collaborative Law, you need to think about finding a good Collaborative attorney to represent you.

Referrals and searching on line:
Two obvious starting points are to ask friends, acquaintances or professionals for recommendations or to research on line.  If you get some possible names as referrals, you should naturally check them out on line.

What to look for on line?
  • Whether they are a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law.
  • Whether the web site contains helpful information on Collaborative Law.
  • How long the attorney has been practicing Collaborative Law.
  • Whether the web site clearly shows how and why Collaborative Law should be used.
  • See what groups they are members of.  It's a good sign if they are members of Collaborative Divorce Texas, the state organization, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the international organization.  Both groups promote education and the practice of Collaborative Law and their web sites have good explanatory information about Collaborative Divorce practice.
Referrals and on line searches are good starting points, but it will still be necessary to meet in person with a prospective attorney. An essential element in choosing an attorney is chemistry.  You have got to have a good feeling about the attorney and part of that comes from how well the attorney listens and communicates with you.

In addition, you are probably better off if you work with an experienced Collaborative lawyer.

When you meet with a prospective lawyer, here are some topics you might discuss:
  • How long has the attorney practiced Family Law?
  • How long has the attorney practiced Collaborative Law?
  • How many Collaborative cases has the attorney handled?
  • Is the attorney Board Certified as a Specialist in Family Law?
  • How often does the attorney get continuing legal education in Collaborative Law?
  • Does the attorney speak at Collaborative Law trainings?
  • Has the attorney had leadership roles in Collaborative or Family Law organizations?
Those issues will help you find out if the attorney has been actively participating in Collaborative Law and for how long.

Fortunately, there are a number of good, experienced Collaborative attorneys around.  

Once you have found some with experience, you can decide based on your intangible gut feeling.  If you feel good chemistry and communication, it's probably the right person to hire.

No comments: