Questions You Should Ask Prospective Divorce Lawyers

Get to know your potential lawyer before hiring by asking this list of questions compiled by Robert K Downs, a partner with Chicago, IL, family law firm Downs Law Offices.

By Robert K. Downs
Updated: September 04, 2014
Family Lawyers

There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer to all of these questions. They are really a way for you to get to know the lawyer and retain some control over the initial interview. The key is that any lawyer who appears or sounds uncomfortable answering these questions is not someone you should hire to represent you.

  • When were you admitted to the bar? Have you been admitted in any other states?
  • What local, state, and national law organizations are you a member of?
  • With regard to state, city or suburban Bar Associations, what committees related to matrimonial law are you a member of?
  • What papers, speeches, or seminars have you given?
  • Do you represent more women than men? Do you see a difference in such representation?
  • How many domestic-violence cases have you handled?
  • What is your hourly rate? In what increments do you charge?
  • How do you determine the retainer you request from clients?
  • What will the total fee be? (The answer to this question can be very revealing; the only honest answer is that it is not possible to predict. The lawyer who gives a firm figure is trying to hook the client.)
  • Do you concentrate exclusively, or almost so, in the area of family law?
  • If there are custody or visitation issues involved, what experience, conferences, training, etc. have you had in child development and related issues?
  • Will you work on my case, or will someone else in your firm handle it? If so, I would like the same information about that person. And how soon may I meet that person?

Robert K. Downs is a partner with Chicago, IL family law firm Downs Law Offices.

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January 21, 2009
Categories:  Family Lawyers

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