Preparing for your consultation
The more prepared you are, the less time it will take for the lawyer to understand and help you resolve your legal issue. This could result in time and money savings to you.
- Bring all documents. Make copies of all the documents you have collected regarding your case. Give these copies to the attorney.
- Get organized and take notes! Write down notes outlining your legal problem, or any questions you may have. The attorney you are referred to must have your details in order to decide what is important and how to move forward in your best interests.
- Dress for success. Even though you may be very emotional about your case, dress as if you are going to a business meeting or applying for a job. You will feel in control, which is important.
- Be honest. It is very important that you give an honest account of your legal problem. This includes issues that may be sensitive to you or your family. Remember that the conversation your have with your attorney is private, and cannot be discussed with others without your permission.
- Talk about how much this will cost you. Your attorney will be ready to discuss fees during your first meeting. You should be ready to do the same. It is perfectly okay to discuss payment plans with your lawyer. Get your agreement in writing and keep a copy for your file.If you and your attorney determine that your legal expenses will be more than $1,000.00 (one thousand dollars), then the attorney must provide you with a written fee agreement.
- Ask your attorney questions. In order for your attorney to serve you better, you must understand your case and the legal process. But remember, you are paying for your attorney’s time. It is more cost effective to ask several questions at once. If you call your attorney every single time you have a question, you may be charged for each call.
- Read all documents carefully before signing. Before you sign a document, ask your attorney to fully explain to you what exactly it is that you are signing. If you do not understand what the document is about that you are being asked to sign, ask your attorney to explain it to you again.
- Keep your own files. Don’t hesitate to ask for copies of all letters and documents prepared on your case. You should also keep the written fee agreement between you and your attorney for your records.
- Listen to your Attorney. Listen to your lawyer and think about what your attorney asks you to do. The attorney’s judgments are based on legal training and experience. Remember that lawyers cannot work magic. No attorney wins every case, and sometimes the best legal advice may not be what you want to hear. Your attorney will provide advice that has your best interests in mind.
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