Best Advice for Consulting with a Lawyer
Meeting with a lawyer for the first time to evaluate your case can be a bit overwhelming. From understanding the legal intricacies of your case well enough to convey them to wondering how you will pay for an attorney’s services to asking yourself how to consult with a lawyer in the first place, it can get quite overwhelming.
In some cases, you can meet with a lawyer for an initial free consultation to learn more about how they as an experienced legal professional would handle your case. Of course, some lawyers do charge for their consultation process. When asking, “how much is a consultation with an attorney?”, the answer is free in some cases, but this varies on an individual basis. Either way, free or not, it’s in your best interest to get the most possible out of that initial meeting, so you can adequately determine if a certain lawyer is the right fit for your specific situation.
What is a Legal Consultation?
Before delving into how to get the most out of your initial consultation, it’s important to first define this experience. In most cases, a legal consultation is the first time you meet a lawyer who might oversee your case. In some cases, this initial meeting is free, in others, there is a charge for the service. During this consultation process, you and your attorney are in essence sizing each other up and determining if you make a good team.
Best Advice for Consulting With a Lawyer
Keep the following applicable advice in mind when you show up for your initial legal consultation:
- Bring all Relevant Documents: In addition to gathering all relevant documents, like court orders, police reports, etc, it’s a good idea to go ahead and make copies of these docs. This way you can leave copies with your lawyer and keep the hard copies for yourself.
- Take Notes: Before visiting your attorney, write down relevant questions, so you don’t forget to ask them during the consultation. Also, it’s a good idea to take notes on what your lawyer says during the meeting.
- Be Honest: It does you no favors to try and sugar coat your situation, making it seem less dire than it is or simply not sharing all the pertinent details. Instead, it’s important to be completely and even brutally honest about your case, so the attorney can adequately assess the situation and give you an honest estimation of the likely outcome.
- Bring up Fees: You need to know what type of fees you can expect to pay for a lawyer’s legal services. Initially, this might be communicated merely through words, but eventually, if your legal fees are estimated to be higher than $1,000, your lawyer will provide you with a written fee agreement as well.
- Dress Appropriately: You only have one chance to make a good first impression on the professional whose responsibility it will be to adequately oversee your legal case. Therefore, it’s important to dress appropriately in business attire as if you were applying for a job.
- Listen to Them: Your lawyer’s advice and plan of action regarding your case are based on years of training and experience. Listen to what they are saying and remember that although it might not be what you want to hear, it’s coming from a place that has your best interest at heart.
Keep the above advice in mind when consulting with a lawyer for the first time.