"If you needed brain surgery, you wouldn't want to a podiatrist to treat you," says Robert M. Goldberg, an elder law attorney based in Griffin, Ga. "The same holds true for law."
In other words, pick the lawyer's brain. Find out how many years he or she's been working in the field. When talking with prospective attorneys, find out how many cases they've had similar to yours and what the outcomes were. And ask them what they think the likely outcome is if he or she were to take you on as client. There's no harm in doing your research and finding the best possible elder law attorney suited to your specific needs, especially since you're going to be paying for it with your own hard-earned cash [source: Goldberg].