Make the most of your meeting
Bring all documents
Make copies of all the documents you have collected regarding your case and give these copies to your lawyer.
Have notes ready
Before the meeting, write down notes that outline your legal problem and any questions you may have. Your lawyer must have all relevant details to assess what’s important and determine 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 of the utmost importance.
It’s 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 you have with your lawyer is private and cannot be discussed with others without your permission.
Talk about costs
Your lawyer will be ready to discuss fees during your first meeting, so 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 lawyer determine that your legal expenses will be more than $1,000, the attorney must provide you with a written fee agreement.
Ask your lawyer questions
In order for your lawyer to serve you better, you must understand your case and the legal process. But remember, you are paying for your lawyer’s time, so it will be more cost effective to ask several questions at your consultation. If you call your lawyer every time you have another question, there may be additional charges.
Understand all documents you sign
Before you sign a document, ask your lawyer to fully explain what it’s about. If you still do not understand the document’s purpose, ask your lawyer to explain it 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 lawyer for your records.
Listen to your lawyer
Think carefully about what your lawyer asks you to do. The lawyer’s judgments are based on legal training and experience. Though sometimes the best legal advice is not what you want to hear, your lawyer will make recommendations that keep your best interests in mind.