Are you looking to meet with a lawyer for the first time? It can be scary.
If you’ve already scheduled a lawyer consultation, you’ve tackled the toughest task — getting started. With that said, you should enter your consultation knowing what to expect.
Here are a few things you’ll want to do before your consultation so you can get the most out of your meeting.
Research Local Laws
Lawyers spend countless hours studying the law. While you don’t have to go that far, you should have a solid idea of where your case falls and how it’s classified.
Begin by looking up the statute of limitations in your area. Since every state (and many municipalities within said states) has its own set of laws, your case might not be viable if you’ve waited too long.
Likewise, this can help you from getting ripped off. If you walk into a legal consultation without the slightest knowledge of your state’s legal system, an unscrupulous lawyer may take advantage of you.
Bring Any Evidence You Have
Explaining your story to a lawyer can get tedious. And if that’s all you have, you’re not making a great argument for your case.
If you can bring evidence like medical bills, video footage, text messages, etc., you’ll make your attorney’s life so much easier.
As this article on How to prepare for meeting with a lawyer points out, that initial legal consultation is all about determining the strength of your case. Evidence is the simplest and quickest way to do so.
Typically, lawyers collect payments through two means: an hourly rate or contingency.
During the latter, a lawyer takes money based on a percentage of the award. This means that, should you lose your case, your lawyer may not require payment, however, this depends on the lawyer.
However the prefer compensation, make sure you have a clear picture ahead of time. The last thing you need after a long legal battle is a massive bill that you can’t pay.
Bring up the Competition
Lawyers work together all the time. As such, they know one another’s strengths and weaknesses.
Discussing a lawyer’s competition with them might seem like a strange move, but it can help you determine:
- How they’ll handle peers as competition
- Whether the competition is a stronger fit for your case
- Who has more experience
This is your legal future, after all. It may ruffle a few feathers, but be honest with your potential attorneys and let them know that you are talking with other experts.
Get the Most From Your Lawyer Consultation With These Tips
A lawyer consultation can be intimidating. But take a deep breath, you’ve got this!
Remember, the more you prepare, the stronger your case. And if nothing else, always trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling about a lawyer, it’s okay to cut the consultation short and choose a different legal aid.
If you’re interested in learning more about the world of law, make sure to check back with our blog! We’re constantly posting new and updated content aimed at helping lawyers and their clients alike.