You’ve made the decision to get a divorce, Let’s not discuss the reasons why. If you have any doubts, then this post is not for you. I can’t give you advice on whether to stay or go. Go see a mental health professional, talk this over with a trusted friend, or read one of the many books on the topic.
Most articles and books suggest asking a friend for recommendations. That’s what I did and found the lawyer and law firm who has been representing me for almost 10 years!
Every person’s situation is different and so their divorce will be. Just because your friend got certain results, does not mean that you will. All lawyers have different personalities and experiences. This and other factors need to be considered when choosing a lawyer.
Once you have the names of prospective attorneys, check to see if they fit your style by using doing the following before you call for an appointment.
1. Google Them
Be sure to put the full name in quote marks, plus either the word “attorney” or the name or the word “divorce” in order to get more precise results. Results may include the attorney’s or the firm’s website, articles, and/or references to awards, such as “Super Lawyer.”
2. Go to Google Scholar
This little known feature of Google allows you to search for legal articles or court opinions. Type in the attorney’s name or law firm, and sort by date or relevance.
3. Check the ARDC
The ARCD is the Illinois agency that monitors attorneys who do unethical or illegal things to their clients. Check to see if they are in good standing or have proceedings pending. ARDC stands for the “Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission”. The website has a search box: “Lawyer Names.” Enter the name of the lawyer, click through on the correct name and scroll down to the end of the record to see it there are any past or pending disciplinary actions.
4. The firm’s or lawyer’s website
Read what the firm says about itself and its practice. Some have a tab for news articles. Often they will include articles or blogs that are written for the public. Be aware that the firm’s website is basically a marketing tool for them.
5. LinkedIn and FaceBook
Is the attorney on LinkedIn or have a Facebook page? If so, review these for information and clues about their experience or specialties.
This is a type of “Zagat” site where attorneys are rated by their clients. It has been slow to get off the ground, but worth a check to see if anyone has rated one of the attorneys you are considering.
Some other places to look for a lawyer
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.