A legal consultation means that you have to meet with the attorney that you’re considering hiring in order to reach a decision on whether or not to hire them.
It is also an opportunity for the said attorney to decide whether or not they will be able to represent you in court based on the information and the circumstances of your case.
If you both agree to work together, there should be a representation agreement signed both by you and the attorney. However, to make sure that you made the right choice by hiring a certain attorney, you’ll need to do a couple of things first to ensure that the attorney is fully aware of the situation to give you the best help with the case.
Here are the following steps to achieve the best out of your consultation.
Do a background check
Some people might feel intimidated by doing a background check on the lawyer they consider hiring, but it is as important as getting all your documents for the consultation. Because you’re paying quite the amount of money, you need to ensure that their services are really top-notch in the field.
You can do this by asking the attorney questions about their previous experiences with cases similar to yours, and how they handled them. You can also ask questions like how long they have been practicing law, and for how long they have been doing so in their particular specialization.
This should help you understand how their expertise can help you, and whether or not they are familiar with the procedures and local judges of your area. Asking what their average outcome of cases similar to yours will also help you predict the outcome of your case.
If you’re considering working with large firms, then you’ll need to be familiar with how they handle cases that have a similar nature to yours. One way to do that is to read through their website, as this will give you an idea of how they’re going to process the data you’ll present to them, and how familiar they are with your case.
You should also note that working with a legal firm means that the first person you’ll meet isn’t the one who’s going to handle your case. In fact, it can be a group of attorneys working together depending on how complex your case is. That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with their work ethics and their procedures.
Note that most attorneys have legal assistants who handle their paperwork and scheduling, so you need to know whom to contact for your case. You also need to understand how often the firm will contact you for updates on your case.
Understand the costs
One of the most important aspects to know before hiring an attorney is knowing the costs required, as well as any hidden fees. You need to know if there are different people who are going to be working on your case, like a legal assistant, a paralegal, or a partner as each person will charge you with different rates.
You should also know that most attorneys charge a retainer — a set amount of money that you pay upfront, — and then, they will charge you by the hour. Thus, when you’re in consultation with the attorney, make sure to ask about the costs of the retainer, how many people are going to work on your case, and an estimate of the total fee. You should also ask how you’re going to be charged and whether or not there are payment plans or other options with which you can pay the fees.
With all this information in mind, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you can afford to hire that attorney.
Get your legal facts straight
It goes without saying that discussing the legal facts and claims at the consultation session is basically the most important part of it. That’s why you need to be honest and truthful when presenting the facts and providing the attorney with your claim. Lying about the facts or manipulating the truth in any way will not help your attorney to have a better scope over your case. It may even lead to civil penalties and criminal sanctions.
Meeting with a lawyer for consultation is not about getting as much information out of that lawyer as you can, but it should help you determine whether or not they’re the right one to aid you in handling your case. It should also be an opportunity to formulate a first impression of that person. Deciding if a person is friendly and helpful could be very detrimental to your choice, no matter how experienced they are.