When you are facing financial difficulties you want the best person to represent you. The qualifications of the best bankruptcy attorney in New York are a combination of professional credentials and personal compatibility.
Hire only law offices that deal with bankruptcy exclusively or at least as a major part of their practice. The best bankruptcy attorneys are not someone who dabbles at it between cases. Bankruptcy law is complex and always changing and a generalist will not be able to give you the representation you need.
Attorneys who are members of organizations such as the American Bankruptcy Institute demonstrate more commitment to the specialized field of bankruptcy law. They draw upon a base of experience outside their own caseload and can be a powerful advocate for you.
Ask how long an attorney has been doing bankruptcy cases and roughly how many cases the law firm files per year. An inexperienced attorney may be able to handle a simple bankruptcy, but if yours is complicated you don’t want someone who is learning on the job.
Bankruptcy is a private matter and as such you need a good relationship with a lawyer. A friend might tell you about the best bankruptcy attorney yet you find you don’t like the lawyer. Don’t hesitate to interview others until you find someone you feel comfortable with.
Clear communication between you and your lawyer is important. As with any professional, it’s easy for a bankruptcy lawyer to get lost in the jargon of his career. If you have trouble understanding the answer to your questions, ask again until it is clear. If you find you can’t communicate clearly with this person, interview another attorney.
Don’t feel obligated or pressured to retain a law firm if you don’t feel comfortable in the initial interview. Remember you don’t just want any bankruptcy attorney, you want the lawyer who’s right for you.
The Ongoing Relationship
Many people, even business owners, find bankruptcy personally humiliating and are reluctant to share all information about their finances. They want to get it over with as quickly as possible rather than dwelling on the details. The best attorneys are not mind readers and if you don’t reveal all pertinent facts, you won’t get the fair resolution you deserve.
Your lawyer is your ally and partner in this process. Don’t feel hesitant to tell everything about your current finances and circumstances that lead you to this point. An experienced firm has heard it all before and you aren’t going to say anything that will be found shocking. The attorney’s goal is not to judge or criticize you, but to get you the best solution for your financial troubles.