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How to pick the bankruptcy attorney that is right for you.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. Regardless of the economy, we soon discover that many of the mistakes we make are financial. In this economic climate, these financial mistakes usually become magnified. Once you come to the conclusion that you need help – never an easy decision – deciding on a bankruptcy attorney is the next step. Filing the paperwork correctly and guiding you through the sometimes complicated process is where an experienced attorney can make the process much less stressful. Here are some tips that may help you find the right attorney.
- Do Your Homework – Online, search for lawyers who practice in your area. Review the attorney’s website to find out where he or she went to school, how long they’ve has been practicing in the field of bankruptcy law, and how big or small a support staff/office the individual has. Look at testimonials from clients and former clients who have worked with this attorney.
- Decide on the Type of Law Firm you want – There are various pros and cons to seeking out an attorney from a large bankruptcy firm vs. someone from a smaller firm. Bigger firms with many lawyers may (or may not) charge higher fees. Smaller firms may (or may not) be more responsive and provide you with a bit more hand-holding through the process.
- Refer to the State Bar Association – Every state has a bar association that lists practicing bankruptcy lawyers in your area. To find the website of your state bar association, simply Google your state name and the words “state bar” or “state bar association.”
- Check with the Local Court -Some courts may maintain a list of practicing lawyers in your area.
- Schedule An Appointment – Once you have reviewed the online information, decided on the type of firm you want and checked with the bar association you should set up a several appointments with those lawyers or law firms who wish to consult. Most lawyers offer a free consultation during which time your situation is assessed. While a phone conversation can be helpful, once you’ve narrowed your focus to one or two prospects, an in-person consultation can help you make the best choice when selecting an attorney. At the consultation, you will be able to determine whether or not this lawyer and associates will suit your needs. The choice of a lawyer to represent you an bankruptcy is an important one.