Here are some practical suggestions for finding and hiring a bankruptcy lawyer, especially when a friend or associate has recommended someone in particular:
- Do a Google search on the lawyer’s name and see what pops up;
- In your search and interview process, ask and consider if the lawyer is a recognized expert in the bankruptcy field? Does the news media seek out the opinions of this lawyer?
- Check a lawyer’s record on an objective website like Avvo.com;
- Ask how long the lawyer has been practicing bankruptcy law specifically. Does the lawyer handle other types of cases?
- In a large urban area like Los Angeles, quality bankruptcy lawyers devote their entire practice to bankruptcy. You do not want to trust your finances with an inexperienced or part time bankruptcy lawyer.
- If the lawyer is not a “certified specialist,” any claims of “expertise” should be ignored.
We’d also like to add a “Note” here to lawyers who think bankruptcy law is a path to riches:
- In a phrase, “it is not.” Lawyers who have gone into the law because they expect to get rich should focus on other things—accident cases, corporate law and divorce cases. You don’t get rich by representing clients who are broke. An expert bankruptcy lawyer with a successful law practice can make a comfortable living, but will not become rich.
- Yet the practice of bankruptcy law is extremely satisfying. This is why we do it. There is no other area of law where so much good can be accomplished so rapidly for a client. In most cases we are able to quickly solve problems that have kept our clients sick and sleepless with worry and fear. A good bankruptcy attorney is passionate about helping people.
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