Helpful tips on how to choose a good family lawyer

Though they are popular, people should be careful with online rating sites, says Sarah Boulby, a family and divorce lawyer and partner at Boulby Weinberg LLP in Toronto. She says that some are credible because they are peer-reviewed, but others are dubious and may only include lawyers who have purchased a listing. 

Russell Alexander, founder and senior partner at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers, recommends Google My Business reviews because Google vets the reviews to ensure they are legitimate.

Lawyers and law firms post a lot of content. He says that a family-lawyer search should include a perusal of local family lawyers’ websites and a look at the videos, podcasts, and articles they have made available.

“I would also tell clients to avoid free consultations,” says Alexander. “The ones who I see who have gone to see a lawyer for a free consultation often find that the meetings are short – like 20 minutes or less. There’s very limited advice that they’re given in that initial consultation, and they find it feels kind of salesy. It’s all about the lawyer.”

Alexander and Boulby recommend hiring a lawyer who practises in family law exclusively, rather than a lawyer with a diverse practice. That is because the area constantly evolves and involves complex related issues, including pensions, taxes, estate planning, and corporate structures.