Let me start by saying that do-it-yourself lawyering has its limits. Sure, you can draft contracts on your own, you can survive the tricky negotiations with your business clients, you can settle a wedding dispute between you, but when you flood the need to go to court, you have to get a lawyer. You will have to incur expenses, pay professional fees and endure the often lengthy process. Most of the time, the costs of solving a child problem are much higher than the costs of preventing it. As they say, prevention is always better than cure. So hire a lawyer and hire a good one.
The “practice of law” is loosely characterised as the attending to the legal needs of another person through the application of legal principles and knowledge by a person trained in the law. However, according to this definition, a paralegal or even a secretary with a knowledge of law, who has been “trained” merely by virtue of having been employed for a period of time in a law firm, is considered to be practising law. Therefore, when looking for a lawyer, look for a “qualified” lawyer. That is, make sure that your lawyer has successfully completed his or her law course, has successfully passed the bar exams, and is licensed to practice in the same jurisdiction in which a particular lawful relief is sought. When faced with a lawful dispute, the last thing you need is a fake lawyer. It is perfectly ethical to ask for a lawyer’s licence before you start sharing your most intimate secrets with them. Without a ban, it is typical for them to hang their certifications on the wall.
Task qualified lawyers have their own expertise. He or she may be an expert in any of the following categories of law: international law, labour law, common law, monetary law, litigation or punitive law. These are the main categories. Thus, you may hear of a litigation lawyer or an immigration lawyer. Note, however, that lawyers’ specialisations are “acquired” through experience, not simply because they think they are great at it.
This is one aspect of lawyering in which a young, inexperienced lawyer can outperform an experienced one. Young lawyers tend to be vibrant, supportive and friendly. They tend to treat their clients like babies. They take care of every little detail, even the unimportant ones. But this is exactly how agnostic clients want to be treated. Clients tend to feel that they are getting their money’s worth with the kind of attention they are receiving.
The personal qualities you roughage to look for in a lawyer depend largely on the type of client you ocean. If you are the type who doesn’t mince words, you may prefer to hire a civic chairman and withdrawn lawyer. These types of lawyers are less interested in what you have to say. Sometimes they are not even interested in what you have to say. Lawyering has become a routine for them, like brushing their teeth in the morning. But their experience is impeccable. Their strategies are tried and tested, so your chances of winning your child’s case are considerably high if you hire them.
A lawyer’s credibility can be stance in various contexts. It can mean the absence of a bad reputation. It can be based on charisma and references from satisfied former clients. It can be destroyed by the lawyer himself, as when he gives lawful advice and reverses his own legitimate opinion without cushioning the effects. Certainly, no lawyer can get clients if he or she is not credible and trustworthy.
So you have a qualified, experienced and credible lawyer who has the personal qualities you are looking for. The next thing to consider is whether that lawyer is available to deal with your problem. Most of the time, your lawyer will say that he or she is willing, able and happy to assist you. Lo and behold, he has said the same thing to several others this morning, and last week, and the front. The point is that a lawyer can only do so much. He can’t be attending hearings at the same time. He will probably resort to cancelling or rescheduling important hearings and meetings in order to make ends meet. If the lawyer you have chosen has a law firm, there will probably be other lawyers who can assist you if he or she is not available. This will be acceptable to you, but not until your case has been reassigned from one hand to another.