Finding an Attorney for Your Son or Daughter: A Father’s Guide
While unpleasant to think about, there may come a time where, as a father, you need to hire an attorney for your son or daughter. If your child is accused of a criminal or civil offense, an attorney who practices juvenile law may be able to help you better understand the accusations against your child and not only inform you of your child’s rights, but help protect those rights.
When choosing an attorney to represent your son or daughter, it is best to conduct some basic research on several attorneys before selecting one. Remember, you are hiring an attorney to do a job for you and it is important to make sure that you hire the person that is most qualified for the job. The best place to start looking for attorneys is through referrals from friends and/or family. In addition to friends and family, it is a good idea to consult your local phone book and free online attorney directories such as AttorneyLocate.com. These are great places to start generating a list of potential attorneys to represent your child.
As you begin to develop your list of potential attorneys, only consider attorneys who have experience representing juveniles. If your son or daughter has been accused of illegal behavior, they are subject to juvenile law. It is important to be aware that the juvenile court system is different than the regular court system. Therefore, when searching for an attorney to represent your child, make sure the attorney has experience in juvenile law and representing clients in the juvenile court system.
Once you have generated a list of potential attorneys there are several things you need to consider such as:
- where they went to school,
- experience or training that they have representing your specific type of claim,
- years of experience representing juveniles,
- any professional associations the attorney may belong to,
- who else will be working on your child’s case (i.e., legal assistants, paralegals, or even other attorneys at the firm)
- success in representing your specific type of claim, and
- what type of fee they charge (see Understanding Attorney Fees).
You can gain access to this information by looking at the attorney’s Web site (which can be easily accessed through AttorneyLocate.com), contacting the attorney by phone, or setting up an interview with the attorney. When contacting an attorney, be sure to have your questions prepared ahead of time and use the time efficiently. In addition to the above information, it is a good idea to ask the attorney what strategy they have for your handling your child’s case and how long they think the litigation will take.
Finally, you may want to consider if your child’s potential attorney is a parent. An attorney who is also a parent may have unique insight into how to interact with your child and provide them with the advice and counsel you would want your child to receive during all facets of legal representation. You may not always be present during the course of your child’s legal proceedings; therefore, it may be in your best interest to choose someone who can see things through the eyes of a parent.
When searching for an attorney for your son or daughter, it is important to keep your child involved in the process from the very beginning. You child will be spending a lot of time with this person and it is important that the attorney you select is not only an expert in juvenile legal representation, but someone your child trusts. If your child is intimidated by a potential attorney or an attorney does not establish a good rapport with you or your child, it may be a good idea to keep looking.