Toronto Estate Lawyers

I Don’t Like My Lawyer

One of the biggest barriers to success in a family law case is poor rapport with your lawyer. When you first meet with a lawyer you are thinking of hiring you should view yourself at a job interview. Except make sure you are the one doing the interviewing.

A strong relationship with your lawyer is a key to success. What is a strong relationship? A number of elements make up that relationship: Do you feel comfortable with him or her? Can you easily discuss not only your legal issues but your emotional issues? Do you feel that your lawyer will fight for you and protect your interests? Do you believe that your lawyer believes in you? Will your telephone messages and emails be returned promptly? Is the office staff available to you to speak to if your lawyer is not available? This is not an exhaustive list. I can go on and on but hopefully you have the picture. You must feel good about this person who you will be your new best friend and confidant.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked at lectures and seminars is “What do I do if I don’t think my lawyer is working hard for me?” The answer is simple. Get rid of him or her. There are lawyers around almost every corner and many of them will be the right fit for you. If you happen to have made a bad choice (something like you did when you picked your partner), fix it. Fire the old lawyer and hire a new one.

How do you find the right lawyer. There are several things you can do, none of which is foolproof but all of which will cut down the chances that you will make another bad decision. Almost one in every two marriages ends in separation and divorce. That means you should know a lot of people who have hired lawyers. Speak to them. Get names and ask questions. You also want to make certain that the lawyer you choose is a specialist in family law. You may be hiring someone who you really like but who isn’t up to speed on family law which is now very complex and highly specialized. Do some research on the internet. View some past court decisions and see if you can get some information about his or her success rate.

I understand that there is an associated cost in transferring a file to a new lawyer in mid stream. It will be worth every penny. Your bank account, your state of mind, your happiness and often the welfare of your children depend on you making the right choice.

Steven M Bookman is an experienced family law lawyer with officed in Toronto, Ontario. He can be reached at 416-488-2243 or at [email protected]. Visit the firm’s web site at

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