February 1, 2023 | Choosing a lawyer

How To Choose The Right Lawyer For You

Legal proceedings can seem daunting for most, unless you are already familiar with the law, which is why people often choose to be represented by a lawyer, even if it is not always required. 

Choosing a lawyer to represent you is an important and difficult decision to make. In order to do so, you must determine what your needs and goals are to find someone who is the right fit. Especially in the case of divorce and separation , finding a lawyer that you are compatible and comfortable with is essential.

Before choosing a lawyer, the first step is to analyze your own situation and determine what your goals are. 

Below are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why am I contacting a lawyer?
  2. Is my situation urgent
  3. What is my ideal outcome?

It is important to note that settling a conflict between two individuals does not always require going to court and it can sometimes be settled through mediation, with the help of a mediator or with the assistance of both parties lawyers.

It is likely that your entourage recommend different lawyers to you. However it is important that you do your own research, as just because one lawyer was great for your cousin, or your colleague does not necessarily mean that they are best suited for you.  Before you choose who will be representing you, it is useful to read reviews, review different websites, contact different firms to get information so that you can differentiate and compare them.

This can be done by phone or email, however, making your final decision will often require an in-person meeting or in todays world videoconference.

Below are some questions to ask:

  1. Does this lawyer have experience in divorce cases?
  2. What do they value when handling a case?
  3. What are their availabilities?
  4.  How do they bill their time?

You should think about the relevant information to your case in advance before meeting with a lawyer. For example, if you and your ex-spouse were in business together, that is important information to share with your lawyer. Furthermore, if you and your children live in a different city than where the lawyer is located, you should share that as well. Other relevant, and serious, information to provide would be if there was a situation of conjugal violence.

Choosing a lawyer is a very personal decision and there are many factors to consider when doing so. You should choose someone who you feel understands your issue, values, and the approach that you want to take.

In the event that you hire a lawyer, and are not satisfied with the services, you can revoke your mandate at any time. However in a situation where a trial has already been scheduled, your lawyer will need permission from the court to cease representing you. If you loose confidence in your lawyer, lack of consistent and regular communication, lack of trust, these are critical issues that should result in seeking new legal counsel. As with everything, not all lawyers are the same, and can make a significant impact on your family. 

It is important to note that one of the issues with our system is access to justice, in that it is costly and not accessible to everyone. If you earn under a certain amount of income in accordance with the legislation on legal aid, you may be eligible for either free legal services or subsidized legal rate. In that case you must either contact the legal aid office in your area, or find a lawyer firm that takes on legal aid mandates. See the link below:

https://www.csj.qc.ca/commission-des-services-juridiques/aide-juridique/volet-gratuit-aj/en

See below for additional references:

https://educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/legal-representation/

https://www.barreau.qc.ca/en/find-lawyer/

https://juridiqc.gouv.qc.ca/en/separation-and-divorce/court/being-represented-by-a-lawyer/finding-the-right-lawyer-to-represent-you/

https://www.cba.org/For-The-Public/Find-A-Lawyer

https://educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/legal-representation/

https://educaloi.qc.ca/en/capsules/legal-aid-choosing-a-lawyer-in-private-practice/