An initial consultation typically consists of sitting down with an attorney to discuss your legal situation and to discover if that attorney is the right fit for you and your situation. Most attorneys and law firms offer free consultations. A consultation can be an overwhelming experience. To make it less daunting, you should diligently prepare for the meeting in advance.
How can you ensure you are prepared for a consultation with a lawyer?
- Identify what type of lawyer you need. Depending on the type of legal situation in which you find yourself, first make sure you meet with an attorney who is an expert in that specific field. For example, if you have been charged with a DUI, you will want to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney. If your spouse has filed for divorce, you should sit down with a local divorce attorney.
- Do your homework. Research is vital before choosing a lawyer for an initial consultation. Read reviews, look carefully at an attorney’s experience with your type of case, and find any other available materials for a better understanding of how a particular attorney might be a good fit for you.
- Find your documents. Once you have scheduled your initial consultation, start by gathering all the important documents for your matter. Depending on your legal circumstances, these could be anything from police reports to bank statements. If you are unsure what documents would be best to bring, ask the attorney what he or she would like to see. Bringing these documents to your consultation will give the attorney a clearer picture of your situation and help him or her develop a game plan for moving forward.
- Know what to ask. Prepare a list of questions to ask the attorney. This is the most effective way to get all the information you need from an initial consultation. Ask questions such as, “What would your strategy be for my case?” “What are the outcomes I might expect from this?” “Have you handled a case similar to mine in the past?” Not only will these questions help you get to know the attorney, but they also will give you a better overall understanding of what could happen with your legal matter. Remember, you are deciding not only if this attorney is the right fit for you, but also if the attorney will want to take your case.
- Do not be afraid to ask about money. It is important to know what the attorney expects from you monetarily. Ask about the lawyer’s hourly rate and how much of a retainer is standard for a case like yours. Most attorneys and law firms require a retainer payment once you decide to hire them. Inquiring about fees and retainer payments in advance will help guide your ultimate decision of hiring the attorney.
- Tell the truth. Be completely transparent during your initial consultation. If you lie or withhold information, the attorney will not have a clear picture of your legal situation and you will not receive the precise legal advice you need . Always be honest with an attorney to get the most out of an initial consultation.
If you have found yourself in a legal situation, you most likely need an attorney. Once you have done your research and believe you have found a lawyer who might be a good fit for you, schedule an initial consultation and begin your preparations.
If you have any questions, give our experienced lawyers at Roth Davies LLC a call today at 913-451-9500.
With decades of experience on our side, the attorneys at Roth Davies are proud to serve individuals across the Overland Park area on issues related to personal injury, family law, divorce law and criminal defense. We’re here to help you find a solution.