There are methods for ascertaining an attorney’s competence. The next step is to do your homework. Review the prospective attorneys on the State Bar of Texas’ website (www.texasbar.com). This website will inform you as to whether the attorney is eligible to practice law, the area of law practiced, whether the attorney is board certified in a particular practice area (such as family law), and some information regarding whether the attorney has been disciplined by the Texas Bar.
Many attorney ranking web sites are available on the internet; unfortunately, few of these sites have an objective, methodical basis for the ranking of attorneys. Perhaps the most reliable is Martindale-Hubbell (www.martindale.com) as the attorneys are reviewed by other attorneys in the same practice area. However, bear in mind that if an attorney is not rated by Martindale-Hubbell it does not mean that the attorney lacks competence or noteworthy skills — it only means the attorney has not yet been rated. If a prospective attorney is not rated, check to see if the law firm of the prospective attorney is rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
After establishing that the prospective attorney is eligible to practice law, details about the prospective attorney’s practice area, and, if applicable, the attorney’s ranking, go to the attorney’s website. Usually, this website will provide more details about the attorney.