Issues to Consider When Selecting an Orange County Divorce Lawyer
People looking for an Orange County divorce lawyer often seek referrals from professionals or friends. If you don’t have a credible source for a referral or do not want to disclose your desire to seek information about a divorce to your contacts, you may perform your own research on the internet. It can be difficult to find the right Orange County divorce lawyer using the internet for many reasons. In fact, it can be difficult finding the right divorce lawyer even with a referral.
How Do I Select The “Right” Orange County Divorce Lawyer?
Selecting the right Orange County divorce lawyer is critical. Making the wrong choice may result in being forced to change divorce lawyers in the middle of your case, which can be expensive. Divorce lawyers are unique, and no one divorce lawyer is right for every client. Below are some factors that you may want to consider in selecting your Orange County divorce lawyer.
You may learn about us by reading the feature article, Divorce Story, that appeared in the leading California legal newspaper, the Daily Journal, on Jan. 6, 2020.
How Strong Is The Referral?
A referral to an Orange County divorce attorney is only as strong as the source of the referral. Does the referring party actually know the divorce attorney or know of their skill level? What did they base the referral on? Is the referral simply a referral to a friend, classmate or to someone as a payback for a past referral? Is the referral given in exchange for a referral fee?
When a referral is made to a divorce lawyer, the referring person often says words along the line of the divorce attorney being one of the best. There are at least 500 lawyers in Orange County practicing family law and they all receive referrals. How can they all be among the best? 500 best divorce lawyers out of 500?
Are the Divorce Lawyer’s Internet Reviews Credible?
Are internet reviews a credible way to select an Orange County divorce lawyer?
Carefully analyze the reviews for credibility. Do they all have a similar sound and feel? Look at the website to determine how long the firm has existed and ask yourself if it is credible that a law firm could credibly accumulate a huge number of reviews in the time it has existed. Consider that people are very reluctant to disclose personal information and leave a review about their divorce on the internet. In addition, the procedure required to post the review may be challenging. To leave a Google review, you must have a Gmail account and then navigate the site. If you are not a frequent Yelper, your review will be filtered out.
Notice how many firms that have existed for many decades have relatively few internet reviews. Compare those numbers to newer firms that seem to receive a new review each week. Are the reviews written by an actual client?
Awards And Accolades
Do not place undue emphasis on awards or badges on lawyers’ websites when selecting your Orange County divorce lawyer unless you have specific knowledge about the award or entity granting it. Awards and accolades may not be indicative of integrity and reputation. It can be difficult to research the background or history of some “award” granting entities. There are many accolades that are available for purchase to almost all Orange County divorce attorneys. Some impressive sounding awards may be purchased for as little as $350 per year. At one point, five divorce lawyers in our firm received letters from an organization notifying each of us that we had all been selected to be members of a “select prestigious” national group of lawyers. In the materials, we were asked to mail the organization a check as a membership fee. The new entity had essentially no requirements for membership except a check. We declined the offer to receive the “accolades.”
Does it Matter if My Lawyer also Practices in Other Counties?
It is our strong belief that it is in a client’s best interest to be represented in an Orange County divorce by an Orange County divorce lawyer, not by an out of county divorce lawyer, even if that lawyer co-counsels a case with an Orange County divorce lawyer. Having two separate firms representing a client is more costly, increases the chances for mix-ups and confusion between the firms, and may cause other significant problems.
We accept no out of county cases and we believe that we better serve our clients by being focused on Orange County procedures, nuances, local practice and the local rules of our Orange County judges.
Does it Matter if a Lawyer Practices Family Law and also Other Areas of the Law?
We believe that the more specialized a lawyer is, the higher quality his or her lawyering will be. We believe that limiting our practice to family law, and further limiting it to matters filed in Orange County, gives us a significant edge. How can a lawyer who handles cases in multiple counties and/or who handles cases in several different practice areas provide the same quality of lawyering as a lawyer that exclusively practices in Orange County?