The initial consultation with a lawyer is a discovery meeting for both parties. The lawyer uses the meeting to better understand your legal issue and see if they are a fit for you. You, in turn, should keenly observe the lawyer’s environment and professional manner. You should be able to tell whether they suit your needs after the first consultation.
How do you know when you need a lawyer? The role of a lawyer goes beyond the courtroom confrontation. They can offer an advisory and supporting role in times of upheaval such as accidents or the loss of a loved one. Make sure to be thorough in your vetting of legal counsel providers.
What to Do When Meeting With a Lawyer for the First Time
Organize Key Facts
You can expect the lawyer to ask you for a recount of the occurrences and decisions that led you to them. To make this process more efficient, write a one-page account of all the key facts of the dispute such as dates, times, people involved, places, and current dispute status.
Keep your account brief and to the point. Conclude it with a sentence or two describing the outcome you would like. This will give the lawyer a clearer picture of where they can help.
Collect Documents and Evidence
The attorney will peruse any documents and evidence you may have on hand to better understand your case and assess its strength. Examples of relevant documents are contracts, financial documents, police reports, correspondence, photos, witness statements, and contacts.
Make copies of the documents before the meeting. You can give them to the attorney in a binder. Some lawyers prefer to send a questionnaire to speed up the information process. You can also opt to scan and email your supporting documents.
Does the Attorney Give Free Consultations?
Opting for a free attorney consultation may seem like a no brainer. Established legal practices and experienced lawyers tend to charge for the initial consultation. The first consultation could take up to two hours and few legitimate firms will willingly spend such resources for free.
Lawyers offering free consultations will often treat it purely as a fact-finding mission to discover your needs. They will not offer any information or advice. You should leave your first consultation feeling informed and aware of your options.
What to Ask a Lawyer in a Consultation
In the interest of saving time and money, you should prepare all the questions you have for the attorney. Write them down so that you don’t forget. Here are some questions that you can ask the lawyer during this first visit.
- How many similar cases have you handled?
- Which side do you typically represent in such cases?
- What problems do you foresee in the case?
- How long will it take to conclude the case?
- What are the legal fees and how would they be billed(for example flat fee or hourly)?
Lawyers in Gainesville Ga
Referrals from people locally, who you trust, are a good way to find an attorney. Search locally for qualified attorneys who understand the laws of your state. For trustworthy lawyers in Gainesville GA, Stewart Melvin & Frost attorneys are experienced in a wide array of practice areas. Remember, proper preparation will save you both time and money.