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How to Prepare for an Attorney Consultation

When evaluating the many law firms and attorneys available, knowing what to expect and how to prepare for an attorney consultation is paramount to the success of your case.

An initial consultation with an attorney involves several key activities: determining if you want to hire the attorney, the attorney assessing whether to accept your case, and discussing any vital questions relevant to your case’s specifics. Whether these tasks appear complex or straightforward, understanding how to prepare for this initial meeting is crucial.

An Attorney’s Ability to Produce Outcomes

At Colorado Legal Group, we recognize that selecting a divorce attorney is a decision that can affect you for decades to come. Both parties involved (the client and the attorney) must determine if they are a good fit to work together and help achieve the best possible outcome for your divorce case. It’s important to consult multiple attorneys, and we’re prepared to offer you some tough questions to ask them to help you identify the best representation for your needs.

During your initial consultation with us, we focus on understanding you and your situation without trying to “sell” our services. Unlike other firms, we avoid using scare tactics about potential dire consequences like jail time or losing custody to pressure you into hiring us. We believe in a transparent dialogue, where we both ask and answer important questions. Choosing the right firm involves several considerations, including:

  • Pricing and financing options
  • Location and distance
  • The attorneys’ experience within the firm

While we cannot promise specific outcomes—doing so would be unethical and often misleading—we recognize that every case is unique. In family law, outcomes often depend on the case’s specifics, the judge, and their experiences. Despite these variables, we commit to working diligently, with dedication, compassion, and hard work, striving to secure the best possible results for our clients.

Getting Ready for the Initial Consult

Before scheduling an initial consultation with an attorney, it’s crucial to find one who aligns well with your needs and your case. Start by consulting resources such as your local bar association or seeking recommendations from lawyers you’ve previously worked with. Friends and family can also be valuable sources for attorney referrals. You can also utilize sources like Avvo, an online attorney directory, to get a sense as well. SuperLawyers is another directory, but truthfully any lawyer can be awarded a “SuperLawyer” title if they spend the right amount.

Once you’ve selected an attorney, take some time to learn about their firm. Information is often available on their website, but make a note of any details that are missing to discuss during your consultation. It’s essential to inquire about the attorney’s experience in specific legal areas, such as divorce or child custody, and to ask about the outcomes of their previous cases to gauge their expertise and how they might manage your case.

Prepare for your consultation by bringing relevant documents, or even better, by scanning and emailing them in advance to your attorney. This could include orders, receipts, or documents from previous legal engagements that pertain to your case.

Additionally, discuss financing options. Every firm offers different methods for managing legal costs. The attorneys at Colorado Legal Group will discuss options that’ll work best for you.

Despite any challenges in selecting the right attorney or financing your case, we at Colorado Legal Group are committed to guiding you toward a successful resolution.

7 Questions to Ask a Family Attorney in Your Divorce Case

When consulting with a Colorado divorce attorney, asking the right questions can help you gauge their expertise and determine if they’re a good fit for your needs. Here are seven important questions to consider, and the green and red flags to look out for:

1. What is your experience with divorce cases in Colorado?

Green Flags:

  • Specific, detailed responses about the attorney’s experience.
  • Examples of past cases and outcomes.
  • Familiarity with Colorado family law and local court procedures.
  • Mention of any relevant certifications or specializations.

Red Flags:

  • Vague or evasive answers.
  • Lack of specific examples or details.
  • Limited or no experience in Colorado divorce cases.

2. How do you typically communicate with your clients?

Green Flags:

  • Clear explanation of preferred communication methods (email, phone, in-person).
  • Regular updates and prompt responses.
  • Availability for meetings and discussions.

Red Flags:

  • Unclear or inconsistent communication policies.
  • Delayed responses or difficulty in reaching the attorney.
  • Over-reliance on assistants or paralegals for communication.

3. Can you explain your fee structure?

Green Flags:

  • Transparent and detailed explanation of fees.
  • Breakdown of hourly rates, retainer fees, and any additional costs.
  • Clarity on billing practices and any potential extra charges.

Red Flags:

  • Ambiguity or reluctance to discuss fees.
  • Hidden charges or unexpected costs.
  • Lack of a written fee agreement.

4. What is your approach to a divorce case like mine?

Green Flags:

  • Customized approach based on the specifics of the client’s case.
  • Consideration of the client’s goals and concerns.
  • Balanced perspective on negotiation and litigation.

Red Flags:

  • Generic or one-size-fits-all responses.
  • Lack of understanding or interest in the client’s unique situation.
  • Overly aggressive or overly passive approach without consideration of the client’s preferences.

5. Can you provide references from past clients?

Green Flags:

  • Willingness to provide references.
  • Positive testimonials and feedback from previous clients.
  • Established reputation and good reviews.

Red Flags:

  • Hesitation or refusal to provide references.
  • Negative reviews or complaints from past clients.
  • Lack of verifiable testimonials.

6. What is your approach to negotiating and settling divorce cases?

Green Flags:

  • Emphasis on amicable settlements and mediation, when appropriate.
  • Strong negotiation skills and experience.
  • Willingness to go to trial if necessary while prioritizing settlement.

Red Flags:

  • Inflexibility or a one-dimensional approach to negotiations.
  • Lack of negotiation experience.
  • Over-reliance on litigation without exploring settlement options.

7. How do you handle complications such as child custody, division of assets, or alimony?

Green Flags:

  • Experience with complex divorce issues.
  • Detailed explanations of strategies for handling child custody, asset division, and alimony.
  • Sensitivity to the emotional and financial aspects of these issues.

Red Flags:

  • Lack of experience with complex divorce cases.
  • Simplistic or generic answers.
  • Insensitivity to the client’s concerns and needs in these areas.

By evaluating these responses, a client can make a more informed decision about whether an attorney is a good fit for their divorce case.

Why Choose Colorado Legal Group

Emphasizing an organized and client-focused approach to divorce cases, this is why choosing the attorneys at Colorado Legal Group aligns with most client needs:

  • Initial Meetings and Goal Setting: Right from the start, our attorneys are focused on understanding your desired outcomes and assessing the legal landscape of your case. This proactive approach ensures that your goals guide the proceedings. We have a large team of attorneys in Colorado, and sister teams in other states.
  • Communication and Accessibility: Our firm’s structured communication system, including time blocking and effective use of email, addresses the common client concern about attorney responsiveness. Our attorney, paralegal, and front desk team are reminded of daily and weekly tasks with strategic automation tools to stay in touch. This system ensures that you receive timely updates and answers to your questions.
  • Team Support: You benefit from a comprehensive team including an attorney, paralegal, and legal assistant, ensuring that your case is handled efficiently. This team-based approach also helps manage costs and improve the speed of legal processes.
  • Cost Management: We offer clear billing practices and tips to keep legal fees down, such as providing organized documents and consulting paralegals for cost-friendly advice. These practices not only foster transparency, but also empower you to manage your legal expenses effectively.
  • Child-Centric Guidelines: Recognizing the sensitivity of divorce cases involving children, we advise against their involvement in proceedings unless absolutely necessary. By keeping children out of court, you will maintain a good standing in the eyes of the court.

What Not to Do at a Consultation

While the attorney is there to assist you, it’s important to remain civil in conversation and be well-prepared. Keep in mind that they are as entitled to decline your case as you are to choose another attorney. Show kindness, respect, and a readiness to listen to their advice. Avoid speaking negatively about staff or other attorneys unless you have been gravely mistreated. We frequently hear frustrations regarding receptionists not giving legal advice. No matter where you go, that’s not something any front desk help can legally dish out. Any law firm whose front desk staff gives legal advice is a huge red flag. If they misunderstand your needs and offer this “help” and it completely backfires on you, it sets the law firm up for legal malpractice.

Hiring a Colorado Divorce Attorney

Preparing for an initial consultation with an attorney is a manageable task that merits thorough attention and preparation. From the attorney’s perspective, we understand that choosing legal representation is a significant decision. We won’t pressure you to choose our firm or make unfounded promises, but we are committed to approaching your case with dedication, expertise, and diligence to strive for the best possible outcome.

From the client’s perspective, it’s crucial to compile any relevant information about the firm, ask pertinent questions, bring necessary documents, and discuss payment options. By handling these steps, your initial consultation should be a more relaxed, straightforward, and decisive experience.

We have offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction, let our experienced team of attorneys help you defend your case in and out of court.

Fill out our form or call us at 720-594-7360 to get started.