The first time you see an attorney, you may not know what to expect. However, there is usually a similar process for all first-time meetings. Attorneys have to get to know you and your situation to represent your best interests, so clients need to be prepared for this interview.
Before your first meeting with an attorney, you will need to do a few things to prepare. Having the right documents with you can help the meeting go more smoothly and give your attorney the best idea about what to expect with your case. Here are five things to do before and during the meeting.
1. Bring your documents
All documents are important, whether they’re financial statements or text messages that support your claims. You should make copies of these documents and provide them to your attorney.
2. Be honest during the meeting
Honesty is the best policy in any meeting with an attorney. Your attorney is not there to judge you, but instead, to listen and guide you to a solution to your problems.
3. Discuss payment and costs upfront
It’s always wise to talk about how much your case is going to cost before proceeding further. If your legal fees will be over $1,000, it’s normally required that you and your attorney sign a fee agreement guaranteeing payment. Your lawyer should be ready to discuss fees, and you need to prepare to do the same. Be honest about what you can afford, so you can talk about legitimate ways to pay for your case.
4. Read the documents you receive before signing
Before you agree to retain your attorney, make sure you review the payment schedule and other documents you receive. Understand what you’re signing, because once you sign, you’ll likely be bound to a contract.
5. Retain your own documents
Documentation is key to most cases, so keeping your own copies is important. Don’t rely on your attorney to retain all the documents. You should always have at least one copy of the documents you sign or receive. If not, request them from your attorney.
These are five things you can do to better prepare yourself before, during, and after the initial meeting with your attorney. If you have any questions, it’s wise to discuss them as soon as possible.