How do you make the most of an initial consultation when you already have so many concerns? How much does it cost to talk to a lawyer anyway? Keep reading to learn how to talk to an attorney for the first time.
Planning how to talk to a lawyer for the first time can yield several positive and vital results. First, you will have a chance to develop a rapport. Even more importantly, a positive initial consultation is the foundation of trust between a client and their counsel.
Once you create a plan to accomplish these goals, the odds for your case have already improved. Set yourself up for success starting today by taking this advice with you to your attorney consultation.
How to Talk to a Lawyer for the First Time
Research Some Basic Facts About the Law Firm
Any lawyer and their firm have a reputation you will want to consider. For instance, have they won a newsworthy case recently? Optimally, there will be a compelling showcase of their expertise for you to explore.
Even a cursory look at their website should give you an impression of their strengths. In some circumstances, they will have bold declarations of their focus on an area of law like workers’ comp. If a law firm has multiple practice areas, testimonials and reviews will help you identify where they shine.
Prepare Questions Specific to Your Circumstances
Allow the lawyer you meet with to take the lead initially. They will need to ask a series of questions to establish some essential facts about what they can do for you. When an appropriate opening presents itself, start asking about the topics you have not covered yet.
A few areas you may want to focus on are:
- Statute of limitations
- Damage caps for litigation
- Mandatory minimum sentences
- Results of recent cases similar to yours
Organize Evidence to Share With Your Lawyer
The details that you share when you talk to an attorney will vary. Typically, there are vastly different sets of evidence to hand over for criminal versus civil cases. First, consider the following list of medical records you can organize when suing for medical malpractice:
- A comprehensive list of contacts
- Billing and insurance documents
- Notes and logs about your medical history
- Current and past medications
- Symptoms and side effects
The evidence for a criminal case can be more critical, comprehensive, and elusive to organize. In fact, it is not unusual for a lawyer to hire a private investigator to gather as much detail as possible. Even the smallest, most inane-seeming piece of evidence can drastically change your odds.
Be Honest and Hold Nothing Back
The broad protections offered by attorney-client privilege are not something to take lightly. Your legal counselor needs to know everything you have to share to provide zealous representation. Moreover, the rules of the American Bar Association make diligence a core responsibility.
As a result, you are only hurting yourself if you are not completely honest. The last thing you want is to get blind-sided during court proceedings.
Additionally, you are not at a consultation to impress the lawyer sitting in front of you. By definition, their job is not to judge you in any way, and there can be considerable comfort in embracing that fact.
Listen and Consider Their Advice Carefully
Every point of discussion helps attorneys organize a legal strategy from the ground up. When you talk to an attorney for the first time, you will likely answer many more questions than you ask. Once they have a general understanding of the liabilities, they will communicate what they see happening next.
Following the advice of your attorney is what you pay for when you hire one. Moreover, they have an ethical obligation to provide you with ardent legal representation. Even if you disagree with their advice, you should keep in mind that they have extensive experience with the law.
Meet with an Experienced Attorney Near You
Do you feel more informed about how to talk to an attorney for the first time? Time is a critical factor for any legal pursuit. So do not delay, and connect with one of our experienced lawyers right away.