The Initial Meeting-What to Expect
The more knowledge you can share with your lawyer, the better. Whether you are seeking legal representation for personal injury, contract breach, criminal defense, or estate planning, it’s important to save documents that can help your case go over smoothly. However, if this is your first time meeting with an attorney it’s important to not stress too much.
It can be very nerve-racking to enter into an attorney’s office, especially if you have recently been the victim of a traumatic accident. Don’t let your nervousness cause you to shy out of legally pursuing a settlement claim or getting the defense you deserve.
In order to minimize the anxiety some may experience during their first meeting, just remember that your attorney is a person just like you. In the meeting everything you say is confidential and the dialog is merely a conversation so that the lawyer may learn how to best help you, and so that you can get your questions answered by a professional.
If you come prepared you’ll feel more confident but if you aren’t too sure what to bring there’s definitely no need to fret. The most important step is giving us a call and setting up an appointment, we’ll provide you with advice on the best steps to go forward from there.
Expect to Be Asked About Your Case
Your lawyer will ask you for the story of what took place should it revolve around personal injury, or what you’re looking for in a contract should you be drafting up terms for something. While you’re sharing your story, your lawyer may ask questions to determine what sort of evidence is available and your chances of success.
Lawyers’ performance is measured in the successful cases that they have under their belts. It’s possible that a lawyer may decide not to take on your case if he doesn’t think there’s a good chance of success.
Before leaving a lawyer’s office you will likely also be instructed not to discuss private matters relating to the case with anyone other than him. This is really important advice to follow. Sharing information about the case could lead to a defense team being alerted of your strategy, or of a prosecution team collecting evidence against you.
Expect To Have Your Questions Answered Fully
If you ask your potential attorney what he thinks your chances of success are and doesn’t mention any possible risks to the case, it’s possible that he is keeping back information or hasn’t considered the risks. When meeting with a lawyer for the first time it’s important to evaluate them and their level of confidence in the same way that they are evaluating your case.
Before arriving to your first meeting it would be beneficial to do some minimal research into what your case will involve. This will allow you to have clear goals for what you want to accomplish, questions to have answered about the legal process, as well as a general idea of what you’re willing to spend.
Expect to Get a Quote and Financing Information
Figuring out what a lawyer is going to cost is a very difficult question, but you should expect a good answer nonetheless. If your lawyer charges by the hour they will likely give you a quote in regards to the time that will be necessary for a case, as well as other expected expenses.
You may ask for a flat rate fee as well. A flat fee will likely cost more than an hourly billed case will, but at least you can rest assured knowing that your costs will not increase unexpectedly.
Most legal firms also offer financing options. Figure out which options are available and if there is any interest associated with paying for your fees in parts. If you have a case which is likely to succeed in securing a large settlement you may also be able to negotiate with your lawyer that you will not owe them anything if unsuccessful; as well as paying them in a contingency fee instead of out-of-pocket.