If you are searching for the best military discharge upgrade lawyer, you might be wondering what you should be looking for. Military discharge upgrade lawyers know that upgrading your discharge is important and can have a lifelong effect on you and your family. In addition to preparing your written petition, a military discharge upgrade lawyer can also appear before the board on your behalf to present your case.

Retaining the right military discharge upgrade lawyer can be the difference between success and failure. There are many military discharge upgrade lawyers to choose from, so we create this post to guide you in choosing the best military discharge upgrade lawyer for you.

Seek Personal Referrals and Check Online Reviews

Retaining the best attorney for your case requires research. The best place to start is by asking friends and family members whether they have prior experience with a lawyer that they can refer you to. Chances are, if they were satisfied with the lawyer’s services, you will be too.

In addition to seeking referrals, you can also research potential military discharge upgrade lawyers on the internet. After visiting lawyers’ websites, you should also be sure to check out their online reviews. Just be aware that while “testimonial” pages that are posted directly on lawyers’ websites can be helpful, they can also be deceiving since the lawyer is able to cherry pick which reviews he or she wants to post on their website. Thus, it is much better to search for reviews on third-party review websites, such as Google, Yelp, Avvo, etc. Unfortunately, even these review websites are not 100% accurate, as we have seen some attorneys circumvent bad reviews by rebranding themselves or coming up with other clever ways to remove bad reviews.

Interview Several Military Discharge Upgrade Lawyers

After you gather the names of several good prospects, you should arrange to speak with each military discharge upgrade lawyer regarding your case. At the National Security Law Firm, we offer free consultations so that you can make an informed decision.  Some law firms may charge a small fee ranging anywhere from $100.00 to $300.00 for a consultation.

The consultation is vital as it is your opportunity to interview the prospective lawyer in order to determine several key pieces of information. When it comes to finding the best military discharge upgrade lawyer, most people are interested in an attorney who is: 1) experienced; 2) responsive; 3) affordable; and 4) personable.

1. Experience

Perhaps the most important criteria for a military discharge upgrade lawyer is their experience in this area of law. To determine whether a military discharge upgrade lawyer is the right fit for you in terms of experience, you can as questions such as:

  • How long have you handled military discharge upgrades?

  • Who drafts your military discharge upgrade petitions, an attorney or another staff member?

  • Have you ever served in the military?

  • Have you ever served as a Judge Advocate in the military?

These last two questions are critically important. Some lawyers who handle military discharge upgrades are civilians who have never served in the military.  Having prior military service, however, is vital in this context. Lawyers with military experience are more familiar with the military system, its culture, and its people.  Even if your chosen lawyer has military experience, it is even more beneficial if they have actually served as a Judge Advocate and handled discharge upgrades either in Legal Assistance or Trial Defense Services. At the National Security Law Firm, you can rest assured that our military discharge upgrade lawyers not only have significant military experience, but we also have specifically served as Judge Advocates handling military discharge upgrades.

2. Responsiveness

You should view the consultation and your experience leading up to the consultation (such as your initial call and/or email to the law firm, the scheduling process, etc.), as an example of how future communications with the law firm and/or attorney will be handled.  For example, was the consultation easy to schedule, or did the law firm make you wait several days to speak with a lawyer regarding your case? If you found it difficult to obtain information or speak with a lawyer during the consultation process, this is a strong indication that the law firm may not be responsive enough for you.

The attention a military discharge upgrade lawyer provides during the initial consultation process will probably be similar to the level of attention that they would be giving your case. If the lawyer is too busy to return your call or emails, or answer your questions or alleviate your concerns, then your case will likely be handled in a similar manner.

Unfortunately, the complaint logs of organizations that regulate lawyers demonstrate that many lawyers are terrible at communicating with clients. Thus, before hiring a discharge upgrade lawyer, you may want to consider calling or emailing the lawyer a couple of times with additional follow-up questions in order to see how long they take to get back to you. If any of your prospects seem too busy or take too long to respond, they may not be the best fit for you.

3. Affordability

Most people do not have unlimited funds and, thus, the ability to afford a lawyer’s services plays a key role.  During the consultation, you will want to thoroughly discuss the fees that the military discharge upgrade lawyer charges to make sure that you can afford their services.

4. Personality

Finally, you should not overlook the personal chemistry between you and the lawyer. Do you feel comfortable speaking with the lawyer and asking them questions?  Are they pleasant to speak to?  Do they thoroughly answer your questions and display patience and understanding? Do they seem rushed? Regardless of how experienced or well-recommended a lawyer is, if you don’t seem to “click” during the initial consultation, you may never achieve a great lawyer-client relationship. Trust your instincts and find an attorney whose personality is compatible with yours.

Experienced Military Discharge Upgrade Lawyers

At the National Security Law Firm, our attorneys have significant military experience and have served as Judge Advocates. We also pride ourselves on being highly communicative with our clients and providing each of our cases and clients with the high degree of attention and skill that they deserve. Finally, we provide honest, transparent, and affordable fees for military discharge upgrades. Call us today for a free consultation to speak with an attorney regarding your discharge upgrade.