How do you find an attorney?

My mother-in-law is looking to get a divorce and her legal residence (for tax purposes) is in Washington State. The only other people we know there are her husband’s family.

Normally, I’d ask people I know for recommendations but can’t in this case – any agencies or web sites around that can help find a decent attorney?

Since there has been one serious answer already…

Turn over a rock? :slight_smile:

One of my hobbies is photographing county courthouses. In doing so, one of my observations has been that there are a lot of lawyers’ offices within a block or two of almost every county courthouse. (Whether the lawyers specialise in divorce is another matter, of course.)

Perhaps you could e-mail a local law school in your M-i-L’s area and ask a family law practitioner for recommendations? The worst they’ll do is ignore your e-mail. Make it clear to them that you’re not seeking legal advice or asking for confidential information, but rather you’re just asking for a few names you can pass along.

Just a thought. It’s hard looking for a lawyer when you don’t have any recommendations. isn’t a bad search engine for lawyers either.

Second recommendation for

Search under Family Law for the city in Washington where she has her residence. She may want to go visit 2 or 3 different attorney’s before she decides which one to retain. This will provide her with an objective point of view on who can best represent her. It will also most likely preclude her husband from using those respective attorneys as well, due to conflict of interest. A good defense is just as important as a good offense.

no, it won’t. The super “good” divorce attorneys who you’d care to do that to are hip to that game - they’re not going to get into specifics of your case that would conflict them out unless you sign on the line which is dotted.
OP, here is a link to the Wash. state bar association’s website that tells you how to get legal help if the prospective client is indigent/lower income, or if he or she is not. Most of the attorneys on referral services are competent and have moderate rates.

Go to a cemetery and dig down eight feet. The only good lawyer is a dead lawyer, and deep down, they are really good.
I’ll second

Finding an attorney isn’t necessarily the same thing as finding a good attorney, though. I wonder if attorneys get reviews on Yelp…

It looks like they do. However, I wouldn’t use Yelp to find a professional – I recently read an article about how various medical professionals arrange to have multiple positive reviews posted to make themselves look better. Obviously, the ones who do this are the ones most likely to engage in other types of fraud.

OTOH, once you find an attorney using the many excellent suggestions in this thread, it wouldn’t hurt to look him or her up on Yelp just to see if anyone has anything particularly negative or unusual to say.

While I agree that you want a good attorney in the sense that they’re ethical, competent, and a mesh with you and your personality preference, I think your advice can be taken to also mean that you want a good attorney, like a super duper awesome, never loses in court attorney.

Mom doesn’t need Clarence Darrow billing out at $500 an hour for your run-of-the-mill divorce. The judge has probably seen everything under the sun, and is going to know what he’s going to order the parties to do probably before the parties walk through the door. (this is in jest, written to make a point - no, justice isn’t preordained). This is doubly true if there are no minor kids involved.
I would also not give much stock to people’s reviews of an attorney that discuss their case - it’s going to be a bias-filled review, spurned on by that reviewer’s loss in court. In litigation, one side’s always gotta lose, and so you’re always going to get one litigant walking away feeling like their attorney was any good at his or her job.

that should be “wasn’t any good at his or her job”

Most attorney’s will sit and listen to all kinds of details for $200 fee. And depending upon the size of the marital assets that are to split, $200 is a cheap fee to block your spouse from getting decent counsel.

A divorce is nothing but a business transaction, and you do whatever you can keep the leverage on your side.

dude, you have no idea what you’re talking about. attorneys who are “decent” in the way that you are defining them to be - i.e. expecting to receive a tactical advantage by conflicting them out of representation - are not going to sit and listen to details for $200.

to anyone else still reading along: Wilbo523 has made another misstatement of law in another thread. I’d suggest using this tidbit of information when you assess his credibility.

Since the OP is seeking advice about legal advice, this is best suited for IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Look in the[COLOR=“YellowGreen”] yellow pages[/COLOR]! :slight_smile: You will find all kinds listed.

How do you find an atorney?
Look in the yellow pages! You will find all kinds listed.

As a minimum requirement, they should be able to spell attorney though. :slight_smile:

For a good divorce lawyer, you might want to check out the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. They’ll have links to accredited lawyers in your county.

There is also Their ratings are at least somewhat correlated with actual competence, although it’s also fairly easy to game yourself to a high rating.