Hi, I’m Susan the paralegal; I want to talk to you about preparing for a legal consultation. We talked once before about paid versus free consultations and no matter which one you are having, you really need to get your act together before you go to meet an attorney. Below are some of my tips for being prepared to meet with your prospective attorney.
I think that it’s amazing that so many people come into legal consultations with no preparation whatsoever and no documentation. Many people just seem to wing it; they’re simply looking to see if they feel comfortable with the attorney but I think that’s a bit mistake. Instead of coming unprepared, it’s better to write down all of your questions and bring them in on a piece of paper, or bring a friend with you if it’s appropriate, because you might be emotional, you might be upset, things that the attorney actually begins to tell you could get you derailed, so it’s really nice to have a road map of all the information that you want to gather and take out of that meeting with you.
I like to use the doctor analogy. It’s little like trying to going to the doctor’s office without any blood test results. It’s hard for the doctor to determine what’s wrong – just like it’s hard for the lawyer to determine what’s wrong if you don’t have the right questions and, actually, more importantly, the right documentation, such as court documents if they exist. Ideally, you bring everything related to your grievance that you have, gather your wits, and even a summary list of dates and things that have happened in chronological order. A small summary diary such as this with dates, events that transpired, and if someone witnessed that event all in a simple snapshot for the attorney to see what’s been going on in the past can help play a huge role in the lawyer better understanding your case and providing the best possible guidance.
Don’t just wing it, get yourself organized and you’ll get more out of your initial consultation.
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