Spaghetti and Meatballs

January 16, 2024

Growing up, my dad always said there is a lid for every pot. While usually in the context of being surprised that an odd person found a partner, I believe this same concept applies for attorney-client relationships.

In Wisconsin, the soonest you can possibly be divorced after the divorce papers are filed is 120 days. 4 months! It is common for divorces to last much longer than four months, especially if there are nuanced financial situations or disputed child custody and placement issues.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to be working with somebody for over four months, it is important that the person and I are on the same page.

Interesting enough, when meeting with an attorney, you are not just meeting with them to see if you want to retain them, the attorney is also interviewing you to see if your case is a good fit for them.

So before cutting a check for several thousands of dollars to a law firm, it is important that you meet with the attorney. Not the paralegal. Not a sales representative. The attorney. After all, you certainly want to meet the person you will be working with for the next four plus months.

I will be the first to admit that attorneys put on good shows – it is part of the job. We make arguments we don’t believe in (albeit because it is our job to do so), and part of our job is also to be likable.

You will help yourself by asking yourself and your prospective attorney narrowed questions.

Ask yourself the following:

  • How often do I want to talk speak with my attorney?
  • What are my objectives?
  • What do I think my spouse’s objectives are?
  • Do I need my attorney to be a pitbull? Be careful here – if you think you want a pitbull attorney and have children, remember the impacts of divorce carry very long ramifications. You have to work with your future ex-spouse for a long time after your divorce. While vigorous legal advocacy is sometimes required, pitbulls often create more areas of conflict than necessary.
  • Is there something that might be very unique about my situation that I need to bring to my attorney’s attention?

Ask your attorney the following:

  • How do you know when a client is a good fit for you?
  • Would you say you are more of a collaborative attorney or litigious attorney?
  • What percentage of your cases end up going to trial?
  • Do you practice areas of law other than family law?
  • Can I expect to communicate with you more or your paralegal more?

Even if you don’t wind up with our firm, I wish you the very best in your search! If your search is taking you a few places, just remember, there is a lid for every pot. 😉