Don’t panic, ask questions.
Ask lawyers you know and like. Call a lawyer referral service in your community. Most cities have attorney referral services as part of local bar associations. (You can search the internet for “lawyer referral service in [name of your community]”) Call the potential lawyer and ask for a consultation. Ask if there is a fee and if so, the amount and time allotted for the consultation. Before you make your call, write down a short description of your problem. This way the lawyer will be able to tell you if he can help or if you need a different type of lawyer. For example, all divorce lawyers do not handle custody battles.
At your consultation, interview the lawyer. There are lots of lawyers and you need to be able to work with whomever you choose. It is always your decision who your lawyer will be. You can look for the attorney’s website to get some information, too. Ask the lawyer about what and how fees will be charged. If you do not understand something the lawyer is telling you, ask for an explanation. Ask about the lawyer’s experience with the issues of your dilemma. Bring a list of questions you want to ask. If the lawyer cannot explain to you in terms you understand, you will not make a good team. When all is said and done, you are a team. You will be helping your lawyer help you achieve your goals.