Questions About The Initial Consultation
Q: Do I need to have an initial consultation?
A: Initial consultations are valuable for attorney and client alike. At the initial consultation, you share information about your situation with an attorney, who can then help to provide context and guidance about possible next steps. The initial consultation is also an opportunity for you to decide if the attorney is a good match for your needs, and to find out about their experience.
Q: If I have an initial consultation with an attorney, does that mean they are going to represent me?
A: No. Simply having an initial consultation does not obligate you to hire the lawyer, nor does it obligate the lawyer to represent you. If, after the initial consultation, you decide that you would like the attorney to represent you, make sure you state that clearly. What you do not want is to leave the meeting thinking you have hired someone, when the attorney may not have that impression at all.
Q: How should I prepare for the initial consultation?
A: The consultation will go more smoothly if you organize relevant information about your legal situation ahead of time, and bring it with you for the meeting. Important information can include a list of all the people involved, as well as a list of facts about the case, arranged in chronological or some other kind of order. The attorney will analyze the information you present, and will be able to determine what facts are most important to your case. It can also help to write down any questions you have, so you don’t forget them once you’re in the room.
Q: Why is it important to prepare for the initial consultation?
A: Advance preparation helps to keep the meeting productive and efficient. It helps you to stay focused on the facts of the case, and helps to inform your attorney of key issues about your case while minimizing tangents and distractions. Being well-prepared also helps the attorney to evaluate the important facts of your case so they can provide accurate and tailored advice
Q: What should my goal be for the initial consultation?
A: Aim to present the facts of your case to your attorney in a clear and organized way. It can also help to know and communicate exactly how you want your attorney to help, and what your goals are in seeking legal counsel at this time. Taking the time to know your own goals and the facts of your case can go a long way to building a trusting and effective attorney-client relationship. Ultimately, both you and your attorney should be oriented to getting your problem solved. To that end, staying focused on the facts and clear in your intentions is a valuable goal.