Why Hiring an Expert Attorney is Better
It’s easy to assume that any attorney can provide quality service with your case. In actuality, not every lawyer is qualified to handle the area of law that you might need help with. You may require an expert who specifically handles cases like yours. It’s important to understand what an expert lawyer is and why they can be better for you.
What is an expert attorney?
An expert attorney is a Board-Certified Specialist in the area of law they practice. North Carolina certifies lawyers in 13 different areas of law, such as appellate practice, bankruptcy law, child welfare law, criminal law, and family law. You can generally know a lawyer is a specialist if they refer to themselves as an expert or specialist in a certain area of law. In North Carolina, lawyers are barred from referring to themselves as experts or specialists without the proper certification. If you’re unsure of an attorney’s stated qualifications, you can search their name on the North Carolina State Bar website to verify their credentials.
There’s an extensive criterion to meet to become board-certified. In North Carolina, during the five years prior to applying, family law attorneys need to have worked an average of at least 600 hours a year. In any one year, they have to work a minimum of 400 hours. Additionally, family law lawyers need to do 45 hours of CLE credits in family law within the prior three years before applying. The attorneys have to have earned no less than 9 hours within those three calendar years. They also need to receive references from ten licensed lawyers or judges that are in good standing who aren’t relatives or colleagues. Lastly, the attorneys have to pass a six-hour exam.
Once a lawyer has fulfilled these requirements and gained board certification, they have to meet minimum standards for continued certification every five years. Expert family law attorneys specialize in legal issues such as:
- Child custody and support
- Domestic violence
- Enforcement of support
- Equitable distribution
Why is hiring an expert better in any field?
Experts are sought after every day for any number of issues. One example of this is in the medical field. Doctors can be specialists in specific organs, diseases, or other medical issues. If you’re having a heart problem, then a cardiologist, which is an individual who has had years of training and education focused on the heart, will be better suited to fix your issue than a general doctor. The top benefit of hiring an expert in any field is that you get help more tailored to your specific problem.
Another benefit of hiring an expert is that they’re more likely to prevent any critical errors from happening. As an example, someone who’s just gotten out of medical school might be more likely to make mistakes that could harm you. Someone who’s had years of specialized training would be less likely to make a mistake. We expect mechanics to be highly-trained in repairing cars, so we don’t have to worry about our vehicles breaking down on the road. We expect officers, EMTs, and firefighters all to be highly trained at their jobs to ensure our safety in the event of an emergency. It should be no different in any other field where one is seeking a qualified professional.
Hiring an expert can also help you avoid a high financial cost. Imagine you hire a roofing contractor on Craigslist to fix your roof. The work gets done, but the roof ends up leaking a week later. That results in you having to spend more money hiring a new roofing contractor. It’s true that the cost of an expert will likely be higher than a non-expert. Still, when you hire someone who has expert training, you save yourself time and money in the long run. In general, an expert gives you more peace of mind knowing a job will be done right. They provide answers to specific questions that a general professional might not have enough knowledge on. Experts can guide you into making the best decision possible for your specific circumstances.
Why is hiring an expert better in the legal firm?
You’ll find many law firms that only focus on one or two areas of law, but only a few can state that they’re experts. In North Carolina, it’s estimated that only 1 to 4% of attorneys are board-certified. Choosing a board-certified lawyer means you’re hiring a professional that’s more legally trained and educated than an overwhelming majority of lawyers in the state. Here are a few important reasons to consider looking into a board-certified lawyer.
1. They’re experienced in a specific area of law
All law isn’t the same. There are sets of laws as it relates to different niches, such as contract law, tax law, or family law. A non-board-certified family lawyer won’t know all the ins and outs of the laws related to divorce or child custody. A board-certified family lawyer will have more in-depth knowledge of these issues. As our family law specialist Brittany Hall puts it, “Being a board-certified specialist has helped me with serving my clients because I am focused solely on the laws dealing with family matters. There are so many issues that are involved with divorce and child custody. It has been helpful to have specialized knowledge in this one field because my focus is based solely on the specific situation my clients are in and therefore, I can better know and apply the law to their situation. This is all I do every day, for 8 years now, and I love it. Loving what you do makes a big difference I think. Being a specialist has made me love my job even more.”
Remember that expert lawyers had to pass a comprehensive six-hour exam to be recognized as board-certified. Working with someone who’s not an expert means working with someone who will have to do more learning on the job. That can lead to costly mistakes that could cause you to lose money or even lose custody of your child. Hiring a board-certified family lawyer means you’re hiring someone with years of experience in family court cases. They know what generally causes a case to fail or succeed. With the experience of an expert lawyer, you’re more likely to get the ruling that you want. The North Carolina State Bar notes on their website that hiring a board-certified legal specialist helps ensure your lawyer is proficient in the specific legal field in which you have a legal need.
2. Expert lawyers are among the best
As mentioned earlier, an expert lawyer has to fulfill a number of requirements to be board-certified. They not only have to put in the work, in the case of North Carolina, they also need ten lawyers or judges as a reference. The licensed lawyers or judges, who can’t be relatives or colleagues, have to vouch for the expert lawyer’s competence and qualification. Since so few are able to fulfill the requirements, you can be assured that when you’re working with a board-certified lawyer, you’re working with the best. Unlike lawyers who might use unique commercials for advertising themselves as the best, specialist lawyers can prove it based on the objective criteria they had to meet.
The legal system continually reviews current family law specialists by having them fulfill requirements to stay certified every five years. Expert lawyers have to file an application for continued certification, pay a fee, demonstrate continued knowledge of state laws, continued competence, and fulfill minimum standards set by the bar. Those standards include:
- Maintaining a disciplinary record that supports qualification in the specialty
- Providing a satisfactory showing of substantial involvement in the specialty
- Providing a satisfactory showing of continued legal education
- Complying with the requirements in Rules .1720(a)(1)
- Providing a satisfactory showing of qualification in the specialty
Our family law specialist, Brittany Hall, chose to become an expert lawyer because she wanted to reach her highest potential. She stated, “I became a board-certified specialist because I believe in striving to be the best I can be in all circumstances. I feel called by God to serve others in complex and difficult situations, and I want to honor my calling by holding myself to the highest standards. I have always set my goals high and I have been blessed to have the opportunity to become a specialist. It’s a huge blessing.”
In cases as sensitive as the ones that relate to family law, it’s important to have a proven professional to help ensure a positive resolution. The combination of fulfilling certification criteria and continually fulfilling re-certification criteria helps assure consumers they’re getting an expert attorney.
3. Board-certified attorneys are highly motivated
Board-certified attorneys put in a lot of time and work to achieve the expert status they have. As you can imagine, it takes a highly motivated person to meet the criteria mentioned earlier. You can trust that you have someone working for you that’s passionate about their specific expertise. It’s better to have someone who you know cares about cases like yours than someone who’s just doing their job. They also have to consistently remain active in their board-certified practice. The North Carolina Bar notes that any lawyer who changes their membership status from active to inactive cannot promote themselves as a board-certified attorney. Additionally, if a lawyer remains inactive for an entire calendar year, they will lose their specialty certification. Expert lawyers have to spend at least 25% of their full-time practice working in their specialty.
4. They’re constantly getting better
Board-certified lawyers are always working to maintain their certification after they’ve attained it. As noted earlier, North Carolina lawyers have to meet minimum standards every five years to stay certified. The continual work involved in being board-certified assures you that you’re working with a lawyer that’s constantly improving. They’re more likely to be up-to-date on the latest laws and legal procedures related to their field.
5. Increased chances of an out-of-court settlement
Some lawyers may choose to avoid a trial knowing that the representative on the other side is a board-certified lawyer. Choosing an expert attorney means you’re choosing someone that has the respect of their colleagues. They can be more likely to negotiate an out-of-court settlement that helps you quickly resolve your legal issue. If you choose to go with a non-expert lawyer, that could increase the possibility the other side will push for a trial.
Legal issues involving the family can be a very sensitive issue. That makes hiring someone with expertise in this area that much more critical. While a general lawyer will know a little about family law, they won’t know as much as a board-certified family law specialist. Choosing to hire an expert family attorney will give you the best chance to make your legal situation come to a positive and peaceful resolution.
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Cape Fear Family Law
Law firm that handles child custody, child support, legal separation, and divorce matters. Board ce
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Law firm that handles child custody, child support, legal separation, and divorce matters. Board certified family law specialist Janet Gemmell.
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There are steps and events that must happen in each litigation matter, but no ones case (in any office) is cookie cutter. So if you feel that way, call your attorney and don't suffer in silence. No one but you knows how you are feeling.