I’m always humbled when my clients find me because of what they have read on my website. I believe my website accurately reflects the passion I have for the work I do, so it’s gratifying when other people recognize that passion and decide to take me on as their personal lawyer.

With that said, I do not believe my website alone should be the factor that prompts potential clients to hire me. From my observations, people typically do much more research when selecting a doctor than when they select a divorce lawyer in Maryland.

I believe people should take the research process for finding a lawyer just as seriously as the research process for finding a doctor, an accountant, or anyone else who provides essential services.

Many people prefer to choose a divorce lawyer before announcing their decision to get a divorce. This is understandable–however, it is still a good idea to discuss divorce lawyers with people you trust, so you can get the best recommendations possible.

When you reach the stage where you’re meeting with individual lawyers to assess if you’re a fit for their legal services, here are three questions you should ask them.

“Would it be in my best interest to pursue a collaborative divorce or mediation?”

An experienced attorney with a background in less contentious forms of divorce, like collaborative divorce and mediation, should be able to help you assess your situation. The two of you can decide if it’s possible to divorce without a court battle. In some cases, particularly when tensions between a divorcing couple are high, these forms of divorce are not feasible.

“Will you (the attorney) sign a Collaborative Divorce Agreement?”

In a collaborative divorce, the lawyers for each person are committed to avoiding all adversarial actions, such as filing a court motion. If either lawyer violates this commitment, each party finds a new lawyer. This means that in true collaborative divorces, it is in the attorney’s best interest to prevent and mitigate conflict.

If your attorney refuses to sign an agreement, he or she is not collaborative. You will need to find an attorney who is.

“What kind of experience do you have in divorce law?”

It is unfortunately possible for lawyers who do not specialize in divorce law to represent you in a divorce case. Make sure you hire someone who demonstrated expertise, not merely someone who has passed the bar exam. It is usually easy to tell when a lawyer is inflating his or her credentials or expertise.

Don’t Second Guess Yourself

It’s important to ask the right questions, but sometimes you just know when something is off. Does the attorney you’re speaking to seem like a seasoned professional, or a slick salesperson? If that attorney seems like the latter, it’s best to seek legal counsel with a different attorney–there are plenty of great divorce lawyers in Maryland!