I was out shopping when my phone rang. I jumped in shock when I looked at the number and then realized it was a callback from an attorney’s office I had called earlier in the day. As I stood in the cereal aisle he held a free consult with me, answering my questions and outlining a plan for my custody case. He talked a good talk and I made an appointment with his secretary to drop off a retainer and sign a contract for him to represent me.
Here’s the step-by-step plan I used to retain an attorney:
Step 1: Google advice on how to retain an attorney. 😏 Laws are different in every state so it’s best to know what you are getting into. You can save some time and money by doing a little research before you continue your search.
Step 2: Ask friends and relations if they have any attorneys to recommend. Another idea is to check your local Facebook group to see who has a good reputation in your area.
Step 3: Google local attorneys and make a list of at least 5 to call. Pro tip: If you have a consultation with an attorney they can’t represent the person you are going up against in court.
Step 4: Make a list of questions relevant to your case to ask each attorney. List the attorneys out and leave space to write answers and notes as you speak with them. You will probably find that each attorney will approach your case in a different way which will help you decide on who will best represent you.
Step 5: Call the attorneys on your list. Be prepared to speak with them right away or leave a message for them to call you back and then keep your questions and notebook handy for their return call.
Step 6: Review all of your information and make a decision on which attorney you would like to retain. I suggest taking at least a day to think things through before choosing someone to represent you. You will probably be overwhelmed with information at first and need some time to envision how your case may go and who can help you the most.
Step 7: Be prepared to drop your nest egg into a retainer for your attorney. They will schedule an appointment for you to hand over your hard-earned money and sign a contract. I was able to speak with my attorney’s paralegal and give her a little more information about my case during my first appointment.
Step 8: Make your first appointment with your new attorney. Good luck!
Next time I will discuss how you can prepare for a meeting with your attorney and how to communicate effectively.
Do you have any helpful suggestions to add?
First published on Medium on October 15, 2021.