Having an attorney who is familiar with the county where your case will be filed has its advantages.
There are benefits to having a lawyer who is comfortable with the procedures in your specific court. Comfort that comes from knowing what the judges and the court staff expect. This can help streamline the process and allow the attorney to plan the case very efficiently from the beginning.
Most counties now have their local rules online for everyone to see. A lawyer who practices often in that particular county courthouse will be familiar with those rules. He or she will also be familiar with the preferences of the judges which do not appear online. (such as whether or not the family law judge requires an in-person appearance for certain orders to be signed, which days certain types of probate hearings are generally held, and so on.)
The “local attorney” does not have to be someone that is right on the courthouse square. For instance, in Montgomery County Texas we have a lot of fine attorneys that are right on the courthouse square. But we have equally fine attorneys who have offices throughout the county who routinely go to the Conroe courthouse.
In times past, it was a great benefit to have an office on the courthouse square because paperwork could be filed quickly. The lawyer or legal assistant could just walk across the street and file documents, rather than having to wait for U.S. mail or take a big piece of the day driving back and forth to the courthouse. Not anymore. E-filing has put the clerk’s office within every lawyer’s immediate reach, no matter where the office is located.
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which attorney to hire and location of the attorney is only one. When searching for a lawyer, you have the ability to ask these questions and more in the initial consultation.