Your ideal attorney needs so much more than a long resume. This person should share your most cherished values.
How do you determine what values, exactly, your most promising legal prospects hold? Read on to find out:
Determine What You Don’t Want In an Attorney
Like many people, you draw a blank when asked to define your values. When faced with such an open-ended question, it sometimes helps to clarify what you want to avoid.
Brainstorm a list of worst-case scenarios for attorney behavior. What do you fear most? What possibilities make you most comfortable? Next, determine how the opposite of unwanted behaviors could be defined as a desirable trait.
Not sure how this brainstorming process will play out? This example might help: Perhaps you hate the idea of your lawyer stringing you along in hopes of cashing in on your never-ending case. If so, you prioritize efficiency. You want your attorney to streamline the legal process without glossing over critical aspects of discovery.
Another example: you’re worried that your attorney will blame you for the demise of your relationship. You hate the thought of working with a judgmental legal representative. This means you value compassion.
Research Your Attorney For Signs of Shared Values
Once you know what you want in an attorney, find somebody who lives up to your vision. Prepare for a complicated search — all attorneys strive to present themselves in their best light. Look carefully at each prospect’s track record and marketing language to determine deep-seated values. Client reviews offer insight rarely available in marketing materials. Be wary of attorneys accused of behaviors that violate your personal code.
Trust Your Instincts
Whether researching an attorney online or meeting face-to-face, trust your gut. Don’t work with a lawyer who prompts even an inkling of discomfort.
Intuition is critical to finding a value-abiding lawyer. The more comfortable you feel at this early stage, the more likely you are to build a strong working relationship.
Ready to learn more about top values at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.? Get in touch today to discover our legal philosophy and approach to family law.