We get this question a lot from potential clients. Possibly because in family law people believe there may be biases associated with various genders or gender roles. “If she has a female attorney I need a female attorney too, or vice-versa.” In my experience the decision whether to hire a male or female attorney should be based on anything, but the gender of the attorney. I have never walked out of a hearing thinking the gender of the attorney made any difference in the outcome. Facts and the law make cases. Here are some factors I believe are relevant when hiring a family law attorney that you should consider:
- How much family law does the attorney practice? If your attorney practices family law on a regular basis you are likely to feel more comfortable with the advice you are receiving from them.
- Is the attorney a Board Certified Family Law Specialist? Family law specialists are required to take a significant number of classes each year on family law. The time and energy commitment to become a specialist demonstrates a desire to refine skills and a commitment to the practice of family law.
- Does the attorney give you the good and the bad advice upfront? We strive to give clients the brutally honest truth during the first meeting together. This is important for client trust, and client expectations. Be very cautious of an attorney who tells you want you want to hear, and not what you need to hear. This can be a costly mistake down the road.
- How easy is it to get a hold of the attorney if you need to contact them? Does the attorney return phone calls and answer emails? All attorneys are busy, but some attorneys simply are always unavailable.
You should feel confident in the advice you are receiving from your attorney. If during the consultation you feel the representation will be effective and you can trust the attorney you should consider retaining that attorney regardless of gender. If you think hiring a male or female attorney will give you a “leg up” in court you may be very disappointed.