5 Tips for Finding a Qualified Family Law Attorney in Portland Oregon
If you’re getting married, going through a divorce, or in the midst of a custody battle, you know how important it is to have a good family law attorney by your side. You want to find someone who will protect your assets and fight for your interests. But where do you begin?
Warren Allen LLP is experienced in all types of family law matters, and we have some great tips for finding a qualified family law attorney in the Portland, Oregon, area.
1. Ask for Referrals
The best place to start is with your own personal network. If you know anyone who has hired a family law attorney in Portland, Oregon, recently, ask them about their experience. Were they satisfied with their representation? Did they receive a favorable outcome? If so, ask questions about whether they settled the matter out of court or if litigation was involved. What was it about the attorney that made them particularly effective at handling this particular family law matter?
If the person was unsatisfied with their representation, find out why. Getting information about which attorneys to avoid is just as helpful as getting a recommendation for who to hire. If you don’t personally know anyone who has retained a family law attorney in the Portland, Oregon, area, there are other ways to find a reputable attorney.
2. Check Professional Associations
Another option for locating a family law attorney is to check professional membership associations. For instance, the American Bar Association (ABA) has a lawyer referral directory. You can also search your local and state bar associations to find a family law attorney near you. For instance, the Oregon State Bar has both a lawyer referral service and a searchable membership directory.
If you decide to choose an outside lawyer referral and information service, make sure it has the ABA logo. The use of the logo ensures the service meets ABA public service standards.
Whether using your own personal network, checking professional membership organizations, or paying for a lawyer referral service, be sure to properly vet the attorneys you are considering by doing your due diligence in researching their backgrounds and credentials.
Choosing a family law attorney is an important decision. Never make a decision to hire a family law attorney solely based on a recommendation or referral. Instead, gather as much information as you can before making a final decision.
3. Conduct an Internet Search
You can uncover a lot of information about an attorney through a simple internet search; think of it as doing a background check for free. When you’ve narrowed your search for a family law attorney down to a select few, do some internet sleuthing and see what you can find out about each. At a minimum, most lawyers will have a website bio that outlines their background and experience.
You may also be able to find online reviews that will tell you whether the attorney has a favorable track record with former clients. You should also check both their personal and professional social media profiles. LinkedIn, for instance, may provide a breakdown of their employment history and professional accolades. Other social media platforms could give you a glimpse at how they conduct themselves in their personal lives as well.
4. Verify Track Record
Be sure to verify an attorney’s track record beyond a simple Internet search. If you’re using the Oregon Bar Association lawyer referral service (LRS), you can be confident LRS attorneys “are in good standing with the bar, have no current disciplinary proceedings pending, carry malpractice insurance” and agree to abide by customer service standards.
On the other hand, if you find an attorney through another means, you may need to do your own research. If you’re based in Oregon, you can obtain information regarding a state bar member’s current status, past complaints, and history of disciplinary action by calling 503-620-0222, ext. 394. If you’re based outside of Oregon, check your own state bar association to confirm whether the attorney you are considering is in good standing.
5. Schedule a Consultation
Once you’ve narrowed your search, the best thing you can do is schedule an in-person consultation. Some attorneys charge for a consult, while others do not. Contact the firm to see if there is a charge and if so, inquire about the cost.
If there is a fee for an in-person consultation and you’re trying to save money, ask if there is a fee for a phone consult. Whenever possible, you should try to meet in person with any family law attorney you’re considering. At your consultation, ask them about their background and experience, whether they specialize in your particular family law matter, how many similar cases they’ve worked in the past, and for an overview of your options.
Be as detailed and specific as possible with your questions. Take notes. Get a sense of the attorney’s communication skills and whether you feel you could foster a strong attorney-client relationship with them. The impression you get when meeting an attorney face-to-face can go a long way in helping you decide if they’re the right one for you.
If you’re looking for a family law attorney in Portland, Oregon, area, add Warren Allen LLP to your list. We have experienced attorneys skilled in an array of family law matters, from prenuptial agreements to separations and paternity issues. Whether a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership, we handle each case personally and with the utmost integrity.
As we’ve discussed, first do your due diligence by conducting some research and then schedule a consult with us. We’ll provide you with an honest assessment of your case and if you choose to retain us, we’ll provide you with top-notch legal representation at every stage.