Do you want a real estate attorney or a first-year attorney handling your divorce? Would you let your dentist perform heart surgery on you? Would you want a first-year heart surgeon doing the surgery? The answers to all of these questions are likely “no.”
The economy has had a devastating impact to many areas of our society and the legal field has not been immune. Many attorneys have seen a substantial decline in their area of practice. For example, at the peak of the real estate boom, there were thousands of busy real estate attorneys conducting real estate closings. However, in recent years, real estate closings are down significantly. Many of these attorneys were either terminated from their firm or experienced a significant decrease in work. In addition, many non-lawyers who lost their jobs in other fields went to law school. These recent law school graduates are now entering the work force.
Dangers of Inexperienced Attorneys
Attorneys, like many others in this economy, are attempting to adapt. Many are trying to move to new areas of practice, including family law. While there is nothing wrong with someone changing careers, you need to be informed and wary regarding the experience an attorney brings to your legal issue. Attorneys typically spend years either practicing with an experienced lawyer or gaining experience in their field. Due to market conditions, the current legal market is filled with inexperienced attorneys – particularly in the field of family law.
We receive calls on a weekly basis from less experienced attorneys asking for advice on handling a particular family law case. In some instances, it is clear that the attorney does not have a grasp on the client’s situation. They are missing the important issues and do not have the experience to handle the problems in the case. We often have people come to our office with divorce agreements or documents that are poorly drafted or that failed to provide adequate protections. In some instances, the mistakes cannot be fixed. In other cases, correcting the problem costs more than the original divorce. This additional expense could have been avoided if an experienced attorney was consulted from the beginning.
How to Select an Attorney
If your situation presents a very simple family law problem (no children, limited assets, no real estate, etc.), an inexperienced attorney may be adequate. However, for many cases, a more experienced attorney is recommended. When selecting an attorney for a Georgia family law problem, we suggest you research the following: years of practice, years of family law practice, discipline issues, number of cases handled, and experience in local county courts. Reviewing attorney websites created to market to potential clients and reading anonymous internet reviews won’t tell you if an attorney is right for you and your family’s situation, so I encourage you to personally interview your prospective attorney and ask lots of questions.
At Spooner and Associates, we have nearly 20 years of combined family law experience. We have handled over 1,000 family law cases for many satisfied clients. Make sure you hire the right, experienced law firm to solve your family law problem – not create new problems.
Read the complete April 2012 Newsletter from Spooner & Associates, PC
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