What to Look For When Choosing an Attorney for Oklahoma Child Custody Matters
Choosing an attorney for your child custody case, or any legal case for that matter, is not a decision to be taken lightly. Even if you see a print ad, television ad, internet ad, or some other enticing attorney advertisement, do not run out and hire that attorney based on the ad alone. You need some information and recommendations before you decide to spend your money on a lawyer. Not all attorneys are created equally, and here are some guidelines to follow when looking for an attorney to assist in your Oklahoma child custody case.
Ask about the attorney’s credentials. A legal education is a good thing, but not all schools are accredited or as good as others are. Yu want an attorney who has a solid legal foundation from which to work.
Experience, Resume, Reputation, and Success Rate
Ask about the attorney’s experience, review their resume, and look into their success rate. Some of this should be directly asked of the attorney, but you should also look them up and as others for recommendations and reviews. Every attorney has to start somewhere, but their foot-in-the door should be experience gained in the courtroom through internships and work for a larger firm. You really do not want an attorney who is wet behind the ears.
Bar Association Record
Before hiring an Oklahoma child custody lawyer, check their record with the Oklahoma Bar Association. Find out about their record of accomplishment, reputation, current status, and if they have ever been suspended due to ethical violations. An attorney with a bad reputation is often at odds with the court and other attorneys, and may not have the influence or ethics you need backing your case.
It is important to know if the attorneys you are considering specialize in child custody or family law, or if they are a general practitioner. Believe it or not, this makes a huge difference in their experience and expertise, and their ability to offer you and your case the attention it needs.
This significant factor goes back to giving your case as much as much attention as possible. A huge caseload might mean an attorney is in high-demand, but it also means they have far less time to devote to your individual case.
High fees do not equate to quality legal counsel, and discounted fees do not always lead to excellent counsel at a bargain price. Use common sense and discretion and choose your attorney based on factors aside from costs.
Aggressive, Proactive Strategy
Question each attorney candidate’s courtroom strategy, both in general terms and by posing hypothetical questions based on your own case. If possible, have them review your case (many offer a free consultation or case review), and pose your questions then. Another good idea is to try to see the attorney(s) in action inside the courtroom. You want an attorney who knows the law, is aggressive and proactive, is articulate and convincing, and operates in his or her clients’ best interest.
Don’t settle for the first lawyer you find, or base your decision on an advertisement or bargain rate. Be discriminating in your search for an attorney to ensure your child custody case is in good hands.