When considering the experience of an attorney, we all tend to conclude that this is a very complex legal matter. Many people who may be caught up in a legal situation for the first time may find coming face-to-face with an attorney intimidating.
Treat your first meeting with your attorney like a “blind date.” It is possible that she has contacted him or her, but they still need to get to know each other better to move forward with the professional relationship, or decide not to. Meeting with your attorney is, in fact, one of the most critical steps that will eventually make or break your case. Here are some tips to help make it a successful meeting, whether or not you get hired.
Please dress appropriately and arrive on time.
It’s not about you trying to be impressive. This meeting is meant to be a business consultation. You will be facing a professional who will probably want to do business with you, so she deserves to be listened to and paid attention to. Like you, the legal hawk hopes to work for a reputable client.
ASK about their background.
Your attorney’s field of expertise or experience is perhaps the most important factor in determining his or her ability to defend or represent you. Ask about the attorney’s background, the law firm he works for, his clients, and the cases he handles.
SHARE relevant information.
Your attorney is looking forward to hearing about your case. It’s best if she or he knows from the start, and it’s best for you to be honest. The information you share will be subject to attorney-client privilege and you are protected by confidentiality terms under the law. Initially, your attorney will paint the big picture for you and give you a legally reasonable way out.
Do not hesitate to ask about the rates.
Hiring an attorney is not cheap. You may have to pay a lot of fees and expenses, and you certainly don’t want to be in for an unpleasant surprise during the duration of the case. Ask about retainer fees, consultation fees, hourly rates, and miscellaneous charges, such as printing and copying documents. Also, if you decide to hire the lawyer, he or she can ask for a retainer to start doing the work for you. Be clear about your financial status and make sure you have the ability to pay more in the future.
DO NOT show lack of cooperation.
Chances are the legal professional you are speaking with can “read” and see how you will cooperate throughout the duration of the case. You can expect to be asked some general questions related to the case; try to answer them honestly and reciprocate their interest in it.