There are very few things that go right to the heart of all the intimate things in your life like family law. I mean, I’m biased, but I like to think that lawyers everywhere are doing good work, but family lawyers are – in my opinion – one of the categories of lawyers that touch real life in a truly meaningful way.
After all, there are very few things as personal and important to you as your family and your children, even when (or maybe especially when) you’re separating or getting a divorce. Even if you weren’t married to your child’s father (or you’ve already divorced), child custody cases fall along similar lines.
So, it’s natural to wonder about the attorney you may hire. Is she going to be the right person for the job? Is she going to fight for you? Is she going to have time for you? Will she be flexible and understanding with you? Is she someone with whom you can have an open and honest conversation about your case – the good, the bad, and the ugly?
Its hard to sit down in front of a near-total stranger and talk about the health of your marriage, your sex life, your finances, your parenting – and anything else you might be dealing with. On Monday, I asked the question, ‘Will you firm work with me?’ in response to a woman who asked me whether I’d work with a client who had ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, but today I’m going to tackle the question from the other side.
Do YOU want to hire US?
Ultimately, it’s a question for you. And I’m not here to persuade you to hire me or my firm, any more than I’m here to push a woman who comes into my office towards a divorce that she’s not ready to pursue. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ in divorce, and that includes the path that you take (hey, maybe you’ll reconcile!) and the attorney who you hire.
You may choose NOT to hire an attorney. You may choose to hire an attorney at a different firm. You may want to hire a male attorney. (Though we’ve had men attorneys at one point or another, as of the date of this writing, all six of our attorneys are women.) Maybe we’re not for you. That’s okay. It’s not a question of convincing you to hire us, but helping to give you the information to make the choice for you.
So, who are we? What is Hofheimer Family Law?
We’re a Virginia-based family law firm that represents women exclusively in divorce, custody, and support cases. We’re a six attorney firm, and we’re all women, too – though that part isn’t by design.
We’re the largest firm representing women only in Virginia – and, last time I checked, one of the largest (if not the largest) in the country. But, by law firm standards, six attorneys is a pretty medium-sized firm. There are two local firms that represent men only, and the reason for that is probably that men, typically, earn more than women, and so have the ability to pay more to attorneys than women.
Fortunately for us, women are on the rise, professionally-speaking. But our worldview has less to do with trying to capture a lucrative market than it does trying to help a specific part of the population that, in our opinion, has been sidelined historically.
While women are often in much more lucrative positions today than before, they still face uphill battles when it comes to common issues, like spousal support and child custody. The purpose of my article today is not to wax poetic on all the challenges that women in the legal system face, but to give you more information about us as a firm.
To that end, we’ve written four free books and dozens of free reports designed to help give women the information they need about their rights and entitlements under Virginia law. We also have an extensive library featuring literally thousands of pages of articles full of information on any number of topics related to family law, and offer a monthly divorce seminar at a very low cost to help women familiarize themselves with Virginia family law.
How are you different than other family law firms?
We’re a lot different than other family law firms. We only represent women, so we’re not talking out of both sides of our mouths – arguing for dad one day, and mom the next.
We also have devoted a lot of our time and energy to providing information, which most law firms don’t really do. Free books, tons of articles, and low cost seminars? We’re among the only firms who offer so much information and, even among others who do have some information, they offer it to both men and women, so it’s nowhere near as useful or specifically tailored to each person’s situation.
Not only that, but we also offer Girl’s Night Out events to help our current, former, and prospective clients network and make friends. If there’s anything we’ve learned about the family law process, it’s that it can be difficult to afford nights out, and even to have friends to go with – so we’ve tried to take some of the guesswork out of that and make it feel, well, fun. Is that an oxymoron? Fun divorce attorneys?
Having a worldview is pretty important to the work that we do. Obviously, we all believe in what we’re doing, or we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t limit ourselves to representing women only, especially when women are still earning 80 cents on the dollar compared to men (and, for women of color and other minorities, that figure is even less).
We’re moms, too. All six of us! So, we relate to our clients, too. That’s part of it.
Do I sound like I’m trying to persuade? I’m sorry – I’m not. It’s just that I believe so much in this – in this firm, and in the people who work in it. I’ve been here now for 11+ years, and I believe in it as much as ever. I work with good people who do good, important work. Some of the most important work it’s possible to do, I think.
But don’t take my word for it. Get more information! Request a copy of one of our books, read through more of our articles, attend a seminar, or make plans to come to our next Girl’s Night Out event. Read our attorney bios – maybe you’ll find that one of us resonates more with you than others. Come in for a consultation, if you’re ready. (No worries if you’re just not there yet, either; everyone follows their own path.) Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Ask questions – a lot of them, if you have them!
Having the right family law attorney on your side is so important. You should definitely take the time to ask questions and get a feel for the attorney and the firm you plan to hire. Anyone who is offended or not willing to answer your questions compassionately is probably not the one for you.