Whether you're headed for divorce or are embroiled in a bitter child custody dispute, you should not move forward without a good family law attorney by your side. While emotion certainly isn't absent from various other areas of the legal field, it can cloud judgment when it comes to matters such as these. You need an impartial, yet professionally passionate, attorney who can guide your case and act as a dedicated advocate for your cause. When all you feel is rage and heartbreak, it's hard to make a considered decision about who to hire. Doing so, however, can mean the difference between success and failure.
Looking to friends, coworkers, and acquaintances for advice is always a wise way to choose among any service based profession. This includes finding a family law firm. Of course, this can be tricky. The matters at dispute may not be anyone else's business and it can be hard to ask advice about hiring an attorney just to turn around and say, "Oh, it's none of your business why I'm asking." If you want to keep your affairs to yourself, you can look online. Attorneys don't practice in a vacuum, after all, and confidentiality agreements don't extend to the client. Look for reviews and recommendations. You may not find much, but you'll have more information than you started with.
Most family law firms will handle a wide variety of cases that cover a broad spectrum of legal issues. That said, many of them will specialize in a sub-area of the field, a fact that should be obvious from their ads and their own website. You don't necessarily want to hire a firm that concentrates mostly on hotly contested divorces if you want to settle an estate dispute. While some firms have different attorneys handling different fields, you want a firm that places an emphasis on the type of case you are dealing with.
Don't forget: all of the reviews and recommendations in the world don't tell you if a family law firm is good for you. While you may be able to discern who has the best reputation, your criteria may be far different. An excellent way to break through and figure out if a firm is right for you is to schedule an initial consultation. You can learn a lot in this meeting, especially when it comes to personality and communication. Trust your instincts and don't sign with anyone you don't like.