Having been part of a very difficult divorce and child custody battle, I'm no stranger to this topic. The good news is there's a surplus of resources out there. The bad news is there's going to be some legwork involved. Unfortunately, there's no rhyme or reason to the game. You're going to have to make a lot of calls if you want to find the best fit for you. And trust me when I tell you, you want to find the best fit for you! So, get on that phone and start making calls! That's my first tip.
My second tip would be to research your state's legal aid resources. Simply enter your state followed by legal aid in Google for the best search results. If you've already gone that route and didn't qualify or if you simply don't have time for the typical waiting period, you can scroll down to the bottom of this page for some DIY resources.
Be sure to focus on attorneys that closely relate to your personal situation. Contacting a divorce attorney is not going to be the best choice if you've been injured in a slip and fall. Here's a little guideline that will help you in your search:
|Corporate / Small Business Attorney
||Starting your own business.
||You're a business being sued by an x-employee for wrongful termination.
|Family Law Attorney
||Child custody, divorce, prenuptial agreements, guardianship, etc...
|Personal Injury Attorney
||Car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, etc...
Before you start making your calls, jot down this quick list for reference purposes. Having the answers to these questions will be extremely beneficial when comparing your options:
Wait time: If your need is of an urgent matter, you will want to be sure the firm has attorneys immediately available. I stress "attorneys". Dependent upon your reason for contact, you may not want to settle for a meeting with an assistant / paralegal.
Consulation: Do they offer a free consultation? Is it a phone consultation? Is it a personal consultation?
Fees: Do they charge a flat rate fee or do they charge by the hour? Are there extra fees involved for filing? Are there extra fees for personal representation should you be unable to settle during mediation?
Experience: How many cases have they won? How many cases have they lost? If the firm has an extremely low success rate, you may just want to move on to the next.
Now that we've covered the basics, I'd like to make it clear that an attorney is not always necessary. Dependent upon your personal case, there are many available resources for those of us willing to go-it-alone. If you feel as though your case is one that doesn't require hiring an attorney, here are a few resources to get you started. Best of luck to you!
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