No matter what your legal matter may be, it is important to meet with an attorney for an initial consultation. Just as it provides the attorney the opportunity to become familiar with you and the circumstances of your legal needs, it is also gives you a chance to ask questions and feel confident the attorney is experienced in handling the type of legal representation you are seeking.
Listed below are recommendations for ways to prepare and make the most of your consultation:
- Depending on your situation, you will likely be asked to pay a retainer fee if you decide to take legal action following your consultation. The attorney will discuss this with you during your meeting, but it is important to consider how, where and when you can access enough money to finance the cost of representation.
- Collect your contact information such as your home address, telephone number, email, and work address and have this easily accessible during the consultation.
- Often, meeting with an attorney can cause an individual to feel anxious or emotional. Thus, it may be difficult to communicate the facts relative to your situation as clearly as you intended. Prior to your meeting, consider who, what, when, where and why as it relates to “your story”. On a sheet of paper, list bullet points of relevant people, events, key dates, locations, and the current status of your situation to feel more prepared to explain your circumstances.
- Gather any documents and evidence you feel could be relevant to your matter and place these in a file to bring with you. You may not need these during your consultation. However, this information will be used, if not to reference at that time of your meeting, as the attorney digs more deeply into the facts of your case as more detail is needed.
While a consultation allows an opportunity to ask questions and gather facts specific to your legal matter, it also provides a chance for you to ask questions you need answered about what you can expect, the legal process, the attorney’s experience, your rights, and possible resolutions. As you think of questions, write them down prior to the consultation and you will walk away feeling like you have information you need to make a more informed decision.