How Should I Select an Attorney?
Our firm practices in the Middle District of Alabama and we have a high regard for many other attorneys who appear regularly before the Bankruptcy Court in our District. In other words, there are quite a few excellent attorneys to choose from.
Here are some tips:
1. Ask around. Many people don't feel comfortable asking their family and friends if they know a good bankruptcy attorney but word-of-mouth is one of the best methods.
2. Get a list. Using a search engine or telephone book can be helpful. In a search engine, enter the name of your city followed by "bankruptcy attorney" In addition, the Alabama State Bar has a Lawyer Referral Service (334-265-2318) and can be helpful in identifying attorneys who offer bankruptcy services.
3. Suggested factors to consider in selecting an attorney.
- Experience. When you call them, you can ask questions like:
- How long has your firm been doing bankruptcies?
- On average, how many bankruptcy cases does your firm file per month?
- The number filed per month is helpful but it can be a sword that cuts both ways. On one hand, there can be a danger in using what is referred to as a "bankruptcy mill" that files so many cases that your individual circumstances or needs get overlooked. On the other hand, experience is very valuable in bankruptcy work and should be considered by anyone looking for an attorney.
- Length and quality of first appointment. How much time does the lawyer spend talking to you in the first appointment? We see that first appointment as the most important for creating and executing a strategy and we recommend that you make sure you are satisfied with the exchange of information in that first appointment.
- Reputation among Lawyers and Clients. Does the attorney have a good reputation with other lawyers and with their clients. One source of on-line reputation information is www.lawyers.com. Enter the name of the attorney or the firm name and check their reputation with lawyers and clients.
- Staff. How do you feel about the attorney's staff? The staff does a lot of the work in preparing your case so being comfortable about them is important.
- Second Opinion. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer a free initial appointment. If you have any doubts, meet with more than one attorney and get a "second opinion." While two different lawyers may or may not propose a similar strategy, it will give you the opportunity to compare how you feel about working with the attorney by comparison to the other.
Charles Grainger is an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can advise you on whether bankruptcy or any bankruptcy alternatives are appropriate for you. We can suggest long-term solutions to your financial troubles depending on your particular situation. At Grainger Legal Services, we represent clients from our offices located in Montgomery, Prattville, and Troy in order to help people in South-Central Alabama “get out of the hole.” Call us at (334) 260-0500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.