Neil Forester on “Hiring a Divorce Lawyer”

We asked Certified Family Law Specialist NEIL FORESTER for his Quick Take on what to look for when hiring a divorce lawyer.


Take your time.

“If you’re just starting to look for a divorce lawyer, my biggest piece of advice is: take your time. Unless there’s something of an emergency nature going on – like you’ve got a domestic violence issue or something that actually puts your safety or the safety of your kids in question – take your time.”


Meet with more than one person.

“Every time I have a consultation, I offer the prospective client names of other attorneys that I find to be professional and good to work with. I think it’s important to “shop around” when you are interviewing legal counsel.”


Find the right fit.

“Your fit with an attorney, personality-wise, needs to be good. This is someone you’re going to be communicating with frequently … potentially for years in some cases.”


Free vs. Paid Consultations

“We do not offer free consultations. However, I expect that you will walk out of that consultation with more information than you’ve paid for. My consultations are full of substantive information. You will find out not just about the case, but also about the entire divorce process and how to work toward a resolution.”


Keep your lawyer honest.

“You are the client. This is your case. Clients should be empowered to challenge their lawyer when they are not getting back to them, or are making questionable tactical decisions, or are just not on the same page with regard to strategy. Those are all things the client should be holding the attorney accountable for and if you don’t have an attorney that is willing to have that kind of relationship with you, then reconsider your choice.”




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Neil M. E. Forester (@nmeforester) is Managing Shareholder of FORESTER PURCELL STOWELL PC, a Northern California law firm focused exclusively on specialized counsel for complex divorce and family law issues. He is recognized by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Family Law Specialist. Neil regularly represents business owners, professionals, and other high net worth individuals (or their spouses) in divorce, premarital agreements, and related actions. Beyond his legal practice, Neil serves as Board Chair for WEAVE and NorCal Boxer Rescue. He can be reached at or 916 293 4000. This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.
Sign up to receive legal updates and announcements from FPS and follow us on Twitter @law_fps 
Share The Story