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What to ask an attorney during your first interview

Our prior post entitled How to choose the right Dallas divorce lawyer reviewed the first three points of the article written by Carla Schiff Donnelly from the Huffington Post. Her final three points address the questions you should ask a potential divorce lawyer before hiring and the questions you should ask yourself. Here, I will review the questions Donnelly poses. Then, in a future post, I will endeavor to answer the questions Donnelly advises be asked.

3. Ask questions of the attorney at the initial consultation.

Donnelly advises you to ask the following questions of the divorce lawyer being interviewed:

• How long have you practiced family law?
• What is your approach to a new case?
• What percentage of cases do you settle?
• What is your approach to settling a case?
• What retainer do you require up front?
• Is any unused portion of the retainer refundable?
• Who in your firm will work on my case and how much will I pay for their time?
• How often will I receive an accounting of my retainer?

4. Take inventory after the meeting regarding your feelings regarding the lawyer interviewed.

• Did you feel comfortable opening up to this attorney?
• Did you feel intimidated by him?
• Was she a good listener, or did they spend the entire time singing their own praises?
• Did you feel as though this attorney would take a practical approach to your case?
• Did she tell you anything you did not want to hear? This is a good thing because the attorney’s job is to tell you what to realistically expect from the process. Unrealistic expectations serve no reasonable purpose.

5. Trust your gut – if it doesn’t not seem right, it probably isn’t.

Hire the attorney that you connect with. You need to feel comfortable with your lawyer. If he or she doesn’t give you “warm fuzzies” when you first interview them, hire a different lawyer. There’s nothing wrong with that. We just don’t connect with everyone.