When preparing to meet with a lawyer for the first time,
there are a number of things to consider. Below are 6 tips that will help you
feel prepared and make the most of your initial meeting with your lawyer. While
it may feel daunting to meet with a lawyer for the first time, remember that
they do this all the time and as long as you are well prepared and have
selected a good lawyer to meet with, this will likely be a smooth experience on
Top 6 Tips for Preparing to Meet with a Lawyer:
Make sure you have done research on the lawyer you are meeting with to learn their credentials, certifications, experience, and reputation. For more information on finding a lawyer, read our step-by step article.
Ensure you have copies of all the necessary documentation to help with your case. This could be medical records for a personal injury claim, relevant receipts from expenses you are looking to be compensated for, police reports outlining an incident, and so on. Having these documents available during the initial meeting will ensure a more streamlined approach to resolving the issue at hand. You may also want to ask the lawyer you are meeting with if there is anything specific that they would like you to have on hand for your initial consult. You will also need to have all personal contact and financial information available.
Preparing a strong list of questions you wish to ask the lawyer will help you get the most from your meeting. These questions can relate to the expected timeline of the case, the lawyers experience with related cases, questions about rates and payments if you have not yet discussed this, and requests for advice on how to best proceed with the case. You may be paying hourly for consultations so ensuring you are prepared ahead of time will be beneficial in allowing you to make the most of the time you have with the lawyer. Another important step is setting goals for what you wish to accomplish, what kind of resolution you would like to achieve, and in what timeframe. Communicating these goals with your lawyer will help them best prepare to resolve your case.
Record any details you have about the incident in question. Take time to remember as best you can what transpired in detail. This should be in chronological order and should include mention of people, places, and time relevant to the situation.
When meeting with your lawyer for the first time, it is important to make a strong first impression. This includes dressing professionally, as though you are attending a job interview or working in a business-casual setting, arriving on time, and ensuring you check in with the secretary when you arrive so they can notify the lawyer. This will set the tone for the relationship and will show that you are prepared and are conscientious of the lawyers time. It is always important to be respectful and open to what the lawyer has to say, they are there to help you navigate the issue that you are facing. Devote all your attention to them during your meeting and avoid distractions by turning off your phone or other electronic devices ahead of time.
Meeting with your lawyer for the first time can bring up tough memories or feelings about a difficult situation you may have faced. To best prepare for dealing with the situation again, take into account your emotional health. Bringing a trusted support with you such as a parent or spouse may help you feel more secure in the meeting. Even something simple like planning in an enjoyable activity after the meeting can help you remain in a clear headspace while you remember a potentially tough situation. Keep in mind that you are taking the right steps to gain resolve for the issue at hand by meeting with a lawyer which a good first step.
Ensuring that you are prepared with documents relevant to your case, coming up with questions and goals ahead of time, and making a strong first impression will lead to a streamlined initial meeting with your lawyer. If you have more questions on ways you can prepare for your initial meeting, reach out to us!