Finding a good law firm is just as important as choosing the right attorney. As a person seeking legal services, it can be hard to distinguish between seemingly similar firms. This brings us to our article here–we’ve taken the time to review some of the most crucial determinations to consider when picking a law firm for your case.
For any potential firm, you’ll want to take into account the areas of law in which the firm and its attornies practice. Some firms choose not to specialize, offering services across a wide range of practice areas. Other firms will focus on a niche practice area or maybe a few related areas. There are some benefits to both. However, for divorces and other areas of family law, you may be better served by seeking a firm that specializes in family law. Being well-versed in the subject matter is a benefit of specializing. Specialized firms keep abreast of changes in the law. More than likely, a specialized firm will have experience handling issues similar to the ones in your case.
The next aspect of a firm that will inevitably affect your firm choice is the retainer. Many firms will require some sort of retainer, coupled with some form of billing arrangement. As for retainers, some may be very small, while others may exceed $10,000. Essentially, the retainer is often used to commence the attorney-client relationship and allows your attorney to begin working on your case. Some firms will use a large retainer and proceed to bill against this amount throughout the course of your case until that amount is depleted, thus requiring another amount to be posted. Other firms will use a smaller retainer and issue bills on an intermittent basis. A firm using large retainers will tend to translate to larger costs on an intermittent basis. On the other hand, firms employing a smaller retainer will usually result in smaller costs on a more predictable basis.
The next critical piece related to the cost of a firm can be categorized as billing arrangements. The way in which expenses are accrued and how you will be expected to pay should be extensively reviewed when choosing between multiple firms. If the firm issues bills periodically, you may wish to consider frequency. More frequent billing may provide you with greater predictability as amounts become due on a more frequent basis. Longer billing cycles may result in greater amounts becoming due, albeit less frequently.
Next, you likely should consider how your payments are to be made. Some firms will require that amounts due are to be paid in full. Other firms may allow for some sort of payment arrangement by which you are expected to pay a minimum amount due per bill. The difference here is whether your bills will be paid overtime vs all at once.
The last piece of the puzzle when choosing a law firm is related to firm structure. If a firm is extremely large, it may lack a personal touch. On the other hand, a mid-size or smaller firm will tend to include some degree of collaboration–you may benefit from the expertise and opinion of multiple attorneys. Now there is also the other end of the size spectrum, which is reserved for solo practitioners. These attorneys work usually work alone and frequently have no support staff. Frequently, the ideal firm will fall somewhere in the middle. This choice will provide you with sufficient resources and diversity, while also providing you with a sense of personal touch.
Choosing the Right Firm
Finding a law firm can be one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to your case. Selecting a firm that fits your needs can have a significant impact on how you feel about the legal process. So take the time to review your options. Consider the firm’s practice area, how retainers are handled, what the firm does in the way of billing arrangements, and how the firm is structured. Modern Family Law is a mid-size firm dedicated exclusively to domestic relations matters. If you’re thinking of retaining legal counsel, get in touch with us today for a consultation at no cost to you.