I think it’s a genuine response to say, yes, there are better family lawyers and there are less able lawyers. Just like there are better individuals in any trade, or any profession.
There are family lawyers out there who can manipulate the emotions of a divorce case to create more work for themselves.
If you work with a lawyer who is more established, who is more experienced, more credible, that lawyer is going to put the interests of the client before the self-interest of the lawyer in generating fees, and that lawyer is going to try to get that case resolved sooner and for less money.
As an established family law attorney, I benefit from a fairly steady stream of referrals. I appreciate that my reputation as an efficient problem solver is essential to my success as an attorney. So I’m prepared to get your case finished sooner and cheaper if possible, appreciating that then, as a satisfied client, you’re going to become an essential component in that referral stream that’s going to send new business to me.
And that long term is going to provide me with greater success. Other family lawyers don’t always appreciate that. They see a big case walk through the door. They appreciate that this is an opportunity for them to really create revenue regardless of the effect and that’s what they do.
John Harding is the principal of the law firm of Harding & Associates in Northern California. He practices family law litigation and divorce mediation exclusively.