A downstate man called me the other day looking for a child custody lawyer referral. It seems that he and his ex wife are in a real battle and the attorney he found in the phone book isn’t doing a good job.
To make matters worse he told me his wife “hired the #3 rated lawyer in the area and he is walking all over my guy.”
The simple solution of course is to hire the #1 or #2 rated lawyer in the area. Problem is that I have no idea where this guy got his rankings from and he told me that is just what people have told him.
The truth of course is that there is no official ranking system of attorneys. There are a lot of companies out there that make money by putting firms and their members on lists and giving them fancy names like Super or Best or Top, etc., but those are just marketing words. Some of the lawyers on those lists are great and some suck. Being on the list really adds no value in evaluating a firm. Same with any list that calls you a “rising star” or “one to watch.” There is no legitimacy in any of them.
Everyone has their opinions of course. I’ve seen the most impressive and least impressive work comp attorneys on the same list. I’ve seen one firm have over 40% of their staff on an “exclusive” site that only promotes the top 5% in the State.
This caller definitely needed new representation. And he needs to find who is best for his case. Nothing more and nothing less. But you’ll never get results by just going off some ranking. Talk to people who have had similar cases. Ask lawyers in the area. Make sure the attorney is narrowly focused in their practice instead of a jack of all trades. Interview them and set up expectations. Ask about their experience. Ask about wait time for returned phone calls. Ask about similar cases and your ex’s lawyer and the Judge and anything else you can think of.
But don’t go off of some list that is made up or has no basis in logic for it. It will only dig a deeper hole for you.
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