Good Divorce Lawyers: Part 1
On December 2, 2014, the Huffington Post published an article by Christina Pesoli called “Hey, Divorce Lawyers: You’re About to Get Fired!” Although the article was directed to lawyers, it could easily be used by clients used as criteria for the kind of lawyer they should want. Here is part 1 of three.
Your lawyer should not talk down to you.
As lawyers, we have skills and qualifications, which our clients lack, that allow us to advocate effectively and, if necessary, aggressively on their behalf. But it is also our job to shepherd our clients through a possibly expensive and sometimes terrifying and confusing experience. If your lawyer doesn’t take the time to explain complicated legal processes to you, that lawyer may not be the best person to handle your case.
I pride myself on my ability to explain legal concepts and deadlines in “layman” terms. Before I became a lawyer, I had taught courses at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. A big part of being an effective instructor is teaching concepts to students who may have no background in that subject; the grades on my students’ graded test papers and essays would tell me how successful my efforts had been. I know how to make the complicated accessible.
Your lawyer should keep her word.
If your lawyer promises to call you today to answer your question but doesn’t, that is a big problem. You have paid money for a certain amount of service. Part of that is answering your questions—both big ones and small ones—in a timely manner. At the very least, your lawyer should give you a head’s up if she can’t make a scheduled telephone call.
By the way, if you are a client looking to maximize your dollars, you may want to consider having an agenda for your telephone calls. Consider collecting your questions in an e-mail and sending it to your attorney with a request to schedule a telephone conference. For example, you have five questions that need relatively quick answers. Instead of being billed for each individual call (which lawyers often bill in 10- to 15-minute increments; for a total of 50 to 75 minutes), you have batched your questions for a 30-minute call.
I take pride in offering high-quality service at reasonable prices. Please call my office at 682-234-2006 to schedule your free initial consultation.