Are you feeling nervous about going to your first attorney consultation?
No matter what legal issue you face, it is natural to have some anxiety. After all, life’s most noteworthy events can require legal expertise to navigate. But, you do not have to chart the course ahead blindly.
Knowing how you want to approach the consultation will help you get the most out of this valuable time. Start planning for this event by reading this quick guide today.
Review of Evidence and Other Documents
Preparing for your chat with a lawyer begins by organizing your documentation. The more time you put into this endeavor, the more you will get out of the experience.
The attorney you meet with will need to know everything they can about your circumstances. Therefore, efficiency is paramount in several critical ways.
First, you will have more time to discuss more pressing concerns. When even an hour of an attorney’s time can run hundreds of dollars, it’s wise not to waste a single minute. Moreover, as they get to work, they will have a well-organized start that avoids wasting time digging through your files.
Detailed Questions to Assess Your Options
The top priority for a free attorney consultation is laying out your needs and offering a path forward. Accordingly, you can expect the legal counsel you meet with to have many questions they need to ask. You will want to prepare to answer them thoroughly, efficiently, and honestly.
For example, assume that your workers’ compensation pay stopped suddenly. You will need to have essential details like the following at the ready:
- A comprehensive list of any pre-existing conditions
- The exact date when you suffered the qualifying illness or injury
- If applicable, the day your employer terminated your employment
Defining the Scope of Work
When you consult a lawyer for free, they will want to define the services they need to provide. A few common examples of what they could propose are:
- Researching applicable laws and procedures that will give you an advantage
- Drafting legal documents to file with the courts
- Interpreting your potential liabilities
- Creating a legal strategy that meets your goals and expectations
- Conducting a mock jury to assess how their defense strategy affects jurors
However, keep in mind these expectations may shift as your case progresses. For instance, they may see an advantage to hiring a private investigator at some point.
Honesty, Clarity, and Confidence
Once you have a list of questions to ask an attorney, you should set expectations. What are the responses you want to hear? How will you assess their feedback to make a final decision about your representation?
The general answer to most of these issues will involve how you assess their honesty. Clear and unassailable answers offered with the utmost confidence are frequent criteria.
A Discussion About Billing
There are multiple arrangements for billing to consider after a free lawyer consultation. Often, how they prefer to get paid will depend on their specialty. The options most clients encounter are:
- Hourly rate
- Flat fee
A specific example would be suing an insurance company after an auto accident. Many attorneys accept clients on contingency and do not charge unless they win a settlement. On the other hand, a corporation may see advantages in keeping their legal counsel on retainer.
Schedule an Initial Attorney Consultation Today!
Are you feeling more confident about what to expect during an attorney consultation? Do you have questions you would like to ask an attorney after reading this article?