You may follow much the same process to choose a pro bono family lawyer as you would to select a for-pay attorney. Most law firms have attorneys who take pro bono cases; compiling of list of available attorneys in your area can usually be achieved through telephone inquiries. Once that list is compiled, you may compare them based on their experience with and reputation for handling your type of legal matter. You may also consider whether the lawyers who suit your needs have time to handle your case. Additionally, however, you may have to determine whether you match the criteria the lawyer of your choice has set for taking on new pro bono clients.
Family law matters are often complex, and you will most likely want to choose a pro bono family lawyer who has significant experience dealing with your type of case. If your case involves a divorce, for example, you may do well to choose a divorce lawyer. If you are dealing with a child custody case, however, you will probably obtain the best legal advice and representation from someone who specializes in custody cases. Additionally, family law cases that involve abuse can be even more complex and require an additional level of sensitivity. If you are dealing with this type of case, you may be best served by a lawyer with experience dealing with abuse cases.
Often, people who are attempting to choose the best pro bono family lawyer also consider an attorney’s reputation before making a choice. Some lawyers have a better reputation for competent handling of cases than others. Likewise, some employers may have a better record of winning cases. In general, you may do well to choose the pro bono lawyer who has the best reputation. At the very least, this may mean that you will have greater confidence in your lawyer’s ability to win your case.
In most cases, you won’t have the option of simply choosing a pro bono family lawyer to take on your legal matter. First, you may have to check with the lawyers on your list to make sure they are available to take on your case. Lawyers typically have busy schedules, and your top choice may not have time to meet your legal needs. In such a case, you may move on to the second lawyer on your list and continue checking availability until you find a lawyer who can help you. Checking a pro bono lawyer’s availability is often as simple as contacting the lawyer’s office and explaining that you are seeking pro bono help.
If the lawyer you prefer is available to take on pro bono cases, this doesn’t necessarily mean he will be willing to help you with your legal matter. Each pro bono family lawyer may have unique criteria for deciding which pro bono clients he will help. For example, you may have to demonstrate a financially need. This may mean, for instance, having a low income, being underemployed, or being unemployed. Sometimes, however, this may also mean having a special case, such as one involving domestic abuse.