Do you and your attorney pass the El Paso test?

When you meet an attorney for your initial consultation (n.b. it should be free, it should always be free) you think you are interviewing them: Do they seem interested, will they fight for me and my case, do they understand and care about my children, my concerns, my finances?  Are they a wolf in sheep’s clothing or are they a sheep in wolf’s clothing?* And, of course that is true. But what you may not know is that your attorney is interviewing you as well. And that is where is “El Paso test” comes in. Full candor, I did not create the El Paso test, but I do use it daily. In essence it works like this…

Family Court is not for the faint of heart. Even the simpler cases leave scars. Chances are, no matter how many decades your Family Court attorney has been practicing in your jurisdiction and how straightforward your case may seem on the surface the attorney-client relationship in a family law case will be tested and strained by the end (if you got along well with your Family Court attorney you hired a sheep in wolf’s clothing). That strain is borne by both attorney and client. Applying the El Paso test an attorney sitting across from a potential client at the initial consult asks this theoretical question, “If I were driving from Albuquerque to El Paso would I want to be stuck in a car with this person?” Simple – silly even, but effective.  Ensure from the outset that you and the attorney you hire can go the distance.

*This is the most important question to ask a Family Law attorney, followed by their rate.

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