How to Select a Divorce Lawyer
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How to Select a Divorce Lawyer

kane county divorce lawyers

Elgin, IL Family Law Attorney

Not only is it important that you have your own lawyer represent you in your divorce case, it is essential that you hire the right lawyer to represent you. Not every lawyer will be well suited for your particular case. Divorce lawyers come with many different levels of experience, personalities, skills and philosophical approaches to case management.

The burden of selecting the right lawyer for you can frequently be confusing, frustrating and stressful. With so many choices, how do you select the best lawyer for your case? At Canning Law Offices, we believe you should ask yourself these four questions.

1. Do I like this lawyer?

When you hire a lawyer to purchase a home or prepare a will, you may meet with that lawyer on one or two occasions. During your divorce case, however, you will spend a lot of time with your lawyer. If you feel uncomfortable with your lawyer for any reason it will make these discussions unpleasant and stressful. Therefore, to put it very simply, it is important that you hire a lawyer that you like.

In some of our cases, we are the client's second or even third lawyer. It is not uncommon for those clients to tell us that their prior lawyer was rude to them, rushed them through appointments, ridiculed them, made them feel stupid, scolded them, etc. At Canning Law Offices we consider this type of conduct to be completely unacceptable and treat our clients with the respect they deserve. We realize that a divorce by its very nature can be stressful and frustrating. Your lawyer should work to minimize that stress and frustration for you, not to increase it.

Unless you and your lawyer can effectively communicate and work with each other, a good outcome will be much more difficult to obtain.

2. Has this lawyer been practicing law for more than 25 years?

No matter what law school a lawyer attended or how smart he/she may be, there are certain skills and knowledge that only come with experience. There is simply no substitute for handling divorce cases year after year after year. Therefore, you should find out how many years a lawyer has been practicing law and then hire a lawyer with no less than 25 years of experience.

With so many lawyers to choose from, why hire someone with less experience? At Canning Law Offices, we are proud to be celebrating 32 years of practice this year.

3. Is 75% or more of this lawyer's practice devoted to family law cases?

The necessity of hiring an experienced lawyer applies not only to the number of years that lawyer has been practicing law, but also to the percent of their practice devoted to family law. It does you no good to hire a lawyer for your divorce that's been practicing law for 40 years, if that 40 years was spent doing probate, real estate, or bankruptcies.

Find out what percentage of a lawyer's practice is devoted to family law. While most firms will be unable to give you an exact number, they should be able to give you a rough estimate. You should rule out any lawyer that indicates less than 75% of their practice is concentrated in the area of family law.

At Canning Law Offices, while we do offer services in a few other areas, we can honestly say more than 90% of our practice is devoted to family law cases.

4. Is this lawyer more concerned with my best interests instead of his own financial gain?

Unfortunately there are some lawyers who are more concerned with their own financial gain rather than the best interests of their client. Of course, no lawyer will admit to being such. While you cannot see into the soul of an individual to know whether they are a good and honest person, don't hesitate to trust your own gut instincts to help you answer this question.

One of the biggest mistakes many people make is hiring the most aggressive and meanest lawyer they can find, the so called "junk yard dog." The problem with hiring some junk yard dogs is this: they bill you every time they bark. The more they bark, the higher your bill becomes. And not all of their barking is productive or necessary.

For example, at Canning Law Offices, if a problem arises and we feel it can be resolved with a simple and cost efficient letter or phone call, we will send that letter or make that call. However, the "junk yard dog," with the hopes of increasing their fees will: prepare a written motion, get a court date, demand an expensive hearing, etc. Frequently, the end results of the phone call and the court hearing are the same, but the court hearing is obviously more expensive for the client. You should avoid lawyers that appear to be overly aggressive or try to convince you that they are that junk yard dog.

At Canning Law Offices, our philosophy is simple. We believe divorces should be resolved as quickly and as economically as possible as long as getting the best result for the client is not compromised.

Conclusion: Hiring a lawyer that was able to get a yes to all four of the above questions will greatly increase your chances of: 1) obtaining the best outcome possible, 2) minimizing your stress, frustration and inconvenience, and 3) keeping your fees to a reasonable level. Contact Canning Law Offices today.