So you’ve done it. You’ve taken one of the very first steps of going through a law suit. You’ve likely either booked a consultation with an attorney or are at least considering doing so. Here are 10 Tips to help you ensure that your consultation is successful and that your time is well-spent.
Tip # 1 : Do Your Homework.
Do some research on the firm. Read about the fees, reviews, and attorneys. Visit the firm’s website if there is one. You’ll want to get some background information on the firm and specifically, the attorney that you will be meeting with. This will also enable you to see if you have any lingering questions that you need to ask prior to your scheduled meeting and will help you think of any other questions that you may have during your scheduled meeting as well.
Tip # 2 : Tell the Attorney the Truth.
Don’t leave out facts because they are embarrassing or because you fear being judged. If your attorneys are as experienced as they should be, they will have heard all kinds of stories from different people throughout their careers. Additionally, if you are not completely honest with your attorneys, they may improperly evaluate your case. In order to accurately access your legal issue(s), attorneys need full disclosure from you regarding anything that is relevant to your case.
Tip # 3 : Attend Your Scheduled Appointment Alone.
Trust me, I completely understand when a potential client does not want to attend their appointment with an attorney alone. Some people would feel more comfortable if they had a family member or friend present during their appointment for support. In other cases, clients are unable (or unwilling) to secure a babysitter and so they bring their child(ren) with them to the consultation. Though either one of these situations would certainly be understandable, it is highly recommended that you attend your appointment alone. If you’d like someone there just to support you, our office has a comfortable waiting area nearby where your guest(s) can wait.
Tip # 4 : Communicate With the Attorney Before Your Scheduled Appointment.
Be sure that you communicate with the attorney prior to your scheduled appointment. If you have any lingering questions, feel free to call or email the attorney.
Tip # 5 : Arrive to Your Scheduled Appointment 15 Minutes Early.
15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment is the perfect time to arrive. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, you risk waiting for a longer period of time before your appointment will begin. If you arrive less than 15 minutes early, you risk being late for your scheduled appointment. If you arrive at the building 15 minutes prior to your meeting, you will have plenty of time to find parking, get on the elevator, and check-in at the front desk before your meeting begins. Once you arrive, you’ll be offered a cold beverage and the attorney will be immediately notified of your arrival.
If you are like the majority of our potential new clients, you have never been involved in a law suit. With this in mind, you’ve likely never booked and attended a consultation with an attorney before. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) regarding Consultations.
Tip # 7 : It’s Okay to Be Yourself.
We want you to be yourself during the scheduled meeting. There is no need to hide who you are. Feel like crying? We’ve got tissues.
Tip #8 : Bring Important Documents With You.
You’ll likely need to bring :
- A form of photo identification (ID, Driver’s License, Passport, etc.);
- Any documents/evidence that could be helpful to your case; and
- Money Order, Check, Cashier’s Check, Cash, or Credit/Debit Card to pay Retainer and/or filing fees (If you hire the attorney) Click here to read our article on How Much Your Case Will Cost.
Tip # 9 : Be Prepared to Complete Some Paperwork.
If retained, your attorney will have to file pleadings and complete other court paperwork on your behalf. In order to do so, the attorney will need some information from you. You will also be required to sign a contract with the firm. You should be prepared to provide personal information such as social security number(s), addresses, salary, etc.
Tip # 10 : Bring a Tablet or Notepad.
Attending a Consultation is likely new to you. It is normal to have questions or concerns. You should be sure to take a tablet or notepad with you to your scheduled appointment. That way, if you want to jot something down or take notes, you’ll be able to.