If you have a pressing legal matter and are meeting with an attorney, you may be wondering what to expect at your initial consultation. The first meeting with a prospective attorney is crucial because it establishes that you have a case that the attorney can handle and whether you want to hire that attorney.
Be it in-person or via Zoom meeting—here are some tips to help you prepare.
How to Prepare for a Legal Consultation
Be confident and prepared for your legal consultation by doing the following:
- Make a timeline of events that describes your case.
- Write down any questions you have before you arrive.
- Take a notepad and pen with you to take notes and write down important conversation details.
- Provide the attorney with as much information as possible. This helps the attorney determine if you have a case and, if so, how to proceed.
- Gather as many documents as you can. This may be medical bills, emails, photographs, audio recordings, police reports—anything relevant to your case. Make copies of these documents, so you each have a set.
- If there is a fee for the consultation, make sure you know ahead of time how you should pay—cash, credit, check, etc.
- If you are not comfortable attending a consultation alone, you can bring a partner, family member, or friend. Just remember that the confidentiality between you and the attorney no longer applies. That person could be required to testify about anything said or heard at the consultation. It is generally recommended to attend the meeting alone—anyone else should wait in the lobby.
- Make sure your electronic devices are turned off or are on silent before the meeting begins. If you plan to take notes on your phone, make sure it is set to silent and let the attorney know that you are taking notes.
By following these guidelines, you will be prepared for your consultation, and you can rest assured you are on the right track to finding the best attorney for your legal situation.