Let’s face it: sound legal counsel is rarely ever free.
Because most individuals make a significant investment to work with a qualified, trustworthy attorney, making the most of the time spent together is vital. A lot can get accomplished in an initial consultation if you follow these four tips.
Tip 1: Treat Time Respectfully
We’ve all heard the expression “time is money,” and that certainly applies here. Check out the following ways in which handling your time wisely can impact your consultation:
- It’s important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Every state has its own limitations and time constraints in which a claim must be filed. Waiting until the last minute to schedule an initial consultation hinders, not helps, your situation.
- Try to arrive early to your consultation by at least 10 minutes. It’s important you make a good first impression, and no one likes being kept waiting. Arriving early also has other benefits, like allowing you to clear your head and feel less rushed, and giving you plenty of time to fill out initial paperwork at the office.
- If you can’t be early, at least show up on time. Being late means you are cheating yourself out of the full consultation time, and in some cases may mean you have to reschedule altogether.
Tip 2: Be Prepared
Taking time to prepare your thoughts and desired outcomes for your claim before you are sitting across the table from an attorney helps ensure you cover as much ground as possible during your consultation. You can be prepared by:
- Having all case-related documents with you at the meeting and organized in such a fashion that you can easily find what you are looking for during the conversation.
- Preparing all your questions in advance so that if you lose your train of thought, you can refer to your list of questions and leave knowing you didn’t overlook anything important.
- Asking questions so that when you leave your consultation, you feel confident in your understanding of all the attorney has discussed with you about your case.
Tip 3: Consider the Benefit of Coming Alone
Even though you may feel tempted to bring along a friend or family member to your consultation for extra courage and moral support, consider what having another person present in your consultation will do to your case.
- Having a third person in your consultation with you may waive the attorney-client privilege which exists to protect conversations between you and your attorney concerning all matters of your case.
- Coming alone helps you to speak more freely and feel less inhibited to reveal the details of your situation, and it keeps your consultation confidentiality in tact.
- If coming alone completely intimidates you, bring someone you trust and ask them to simply wait outside in the lobby while you proceed with the actual consultation yourself. Sometimes, just knowing a familiar face is right outside the door can give you that confidence and support you need during difficult conversations.
Tip 4: Maintain Realistic Expectations
When you go to your consultation, remember that this is only the initial step toward seeking a positive outcome for your case. It won’t be the end-all, be-all in this long process, but rather a crucial starting point in determining what further legal action may be needed.
- Realize that you may not have time to discuss everything on your prepared list of questions and concerns in the allotted time for your consultation.
- It’s better for your attorney to take his time discussing the details of your situation than to rush through it all for the sake of cramming everything into that first consultation to be able to “check it off the list.”
- View your consultation as valuable time spent creating a roadmap of where you are, where you want to be when things are all said and done, and how you and your attorney can work together to arrive there.
- Be sure you leave the meeting with a list of the next-steps you need to take.
Schedule Your ConsultationNow that you know how to make the most of meeting with an attorney, it’s time you schedule that initial consultation! Our attorneys at David Blackwell Law are ready to fight on your behalf to bring about the justice you deserve.