When deciding on your family law solicitor, you should treat your decision the same way you would when choosing a doctor. If you are involved in legal cases over divorce or child custody, having a poor solicitor can have a big impact on your life. If a doctor makes a mistake your life can be changed forever. The same is true for a solicitor. This means you have to make sure you have found the right person before you sign any paperwork.
The first thing to look for is something quite superficial, as a messy and unorganised workspace can be a sign that the solicitor’s staff are either disorganised, or over-worked. Both of which are unwanted attributes. Legal files and all related work should be kept incredibly organised so that any information is readily found. If you’re solicitor struggles to find a file during a meeting, they are gravely ill prepared for the challenge at hand.
Another sign to look for is the quality of a solicitor’s secretary. Rude or ill-mannered secretaries show that a solicitor doesn’t care too much about their relationship to their clients. Many issues that family law solicitors deal with are sensitive, and clients should be treated with the up-most care and respect. Rudeness can also be a sign that the solicitors over-work their staff.
A solicitor that is not eager to return phone calls in not doing their job. Clients need to have any questions they might have, answered in a timely fashion. This is not to stay that all phone calls such be return instantaneously, as many solicitors spend most of their day in court. What they should do is set some time aside, as the day draws to a close, to return any calls they need to. The same applies to emails.
Make sure your solicitor sends all paperwork promptly, because if they don’t clients can miss deadlines, or courts could miss information. Both of which would result in a case being lost. If you phone your solicitor’s office and no one knows whether the paperwork relevant to your case has been sent, then you should treat that as an indication of incompetence. It also suggests that your case is not being treated with the seriousness it deserves.
A good solicitor will always limit the amount of cases they take on board, so that they never leave clients waiting when it comes to appointments. All staff should be well trained, polite and organised enough to keep both the client and the solicitor themselves up-to-date. Keeping records of all paperwork that is either sent or received is good practice, as well as keeping records of all important dates relevant to the case. Offering to do research is also something that will be offered by ideal solicitors.
If you feel that your solicitor is not up to scratch, don’t be afraid to fire them as this is perfectly acceptable. It is also the most responsible thing to do; it’s in your best interests.