What Is a Review Attorney?
The job of a “review attorney” is to review and advise you regarding the draft of an agreement you are considering signing. Unlike a “consulting attorney,” a review attorney does not participate in or support you throughout the negotiation process that preceded the agreement being drafted. A review attorney comes in only at the end of the negotiation process and focuses their efforts on providing a close read of the draft agreement you have asked them to review.
Following a mostly independent negotiation or mediation process, your review attorney can come on board to provide a close read of your agreement draft, ensuring that you understand and are satisfied with your ultimate settlement.
Choosing a Review Attorney Versus a Consulting Attorney
There are pros and cons to working with an attorney in this limited a capacity. On the upside, minimizing the amount of attorney time spent on your case can reduce the cost of your process, and may or may not save you money in the long-run. On the downside, not consulting with an attorney during your negotiation or mediation process (i.e., prior to the drafting of your agreement) leaves you more vulnerable to: (i) not fully understanding the law as it applies to your particular situation, or the legal consequences of your agreement, (ii) not asking questions or receiving answers as candidly as you might in the context of a confidential attorney-client consultation, and/or (iii) working with a more limited set of settlement options throughout the negotiation process and in producing the ultimate agreement draft.
A Review Attorney Is Cheaper But Less Involved
The above may describe the exact level of assistance you need in your settlement process. You are confident that you understand the law as it applies to your particular situation. You are able to generate workable settlement options without additional assistance, other than from your mediator. You are clear on the legal consequences of your agreement. All you want is a second pair of eyes, with expertise in matrimonial law, to give your agreement a close read and spot anything you may have missed; and perhaps, to answer a few concrete questions for you.
If that sounds like your situation, a review attorney may provide the ideal level of attorney involvement to meet your needs. Following a mostly independent negotiation or mediation process, your review attorney can come on board to provide a close read of your agreement draft, ensuring that you understand and are satisfied with your ultimate settlement.