what to do during a meeting with an attorney

by Margarete Marks 10 min read

How Should I Act During the Meeting With the Lawyer?

  • Be prompt. Lawyers value their time, since they generally bill by the hour. Showing up ten minutes late could throw off...
  • Dress professionally. This does not mean you need to wear a suit, but you should wear the type of attire you would wear...
  • Let the lawyer do the talking, initially. You'll have all sorts of...

Here are five keys and some secrets to get the most value from your first meeting with a lawyer:
  • Prepare a Factual Outline. ...
  • Gather and Organize Your Documents. ...
  • Identify Your Objectives. ...
  • Write Out Your Questions and Don't be Afraid to Ask Them. ...
  • Conserve and Consolidate Your Communications.

Full Answer

How to make a good first meeting with a lawyer?

Feb 22, 2019 · Your first meeting with an attorney is an opportunity to share your story and obtain a powerful tool–legal representation. While it is important to tell your story, it is also important to get comfortable with each other. It is strongly suggested that lawyers and clients attempt to build a relationship with open communication, honesty, and trust.

Can I bring a lawyer to an employee meeting?

However, you should expect the attorney(s) meeting with you to present to you a retainer amount and a retainer agreement near the end of your initial consultation. The attorney may suggest you investigate certain facts about your situation and return to us with more information at another appointment, at which time the attorney will be better able to determine what the retainer …

How do I prepare for a consultation with a lawyer?

Bring pen and paper so you can take notes or write down other questions that come to you during the meeting. You may also want to bring important documents. Meeting with an attorney for the first time can be stressful. Hopefully, knowing what to expect will help you walk into the meeting with confidence.

What should you wear to a lawyer meeting?

Oct 21, 2021 · The first meeting with an attorney usually involves the exchange of a lot of information. You'll spend a good deal of time explaining to the attorney the details of your legal issue and answering the attorney's questions. The attorney will lay out a plan.

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Jan 25, 2012 · Ask your attorney how long he or she has been practicing, what other areas of law he or she practices, and what his or her success rate is. You should also ask your attorney to make an educated prediction about your case. Bring documents:You must bring all documents and paperwork related to your case to your first meeting.


How do I prepare for an attorney meeting?

Tips For Meeting With Your Lawyer For the First TimeDress To Impress. ... Be Ready To Give Your Attorney Important Information About Yourself. ... Gather Your Evidence And Have It Ready For Your First Meeting. ... Get Your Facts Straight. ... Plan Something You Can Look Forward To For After Your Meeting.

What should you not say to a lawyer?

9 Taboo Sayings You Should Never Tell Your LawyerI forgot I had an appointment. ... I didn't bring the documents related to my case. ... I have already done some of the work for you. ... My case will be easy money for you. ... I have already spoken with 5 other lawyers. ... Other lawyers don't have my best interests at heart.More items...•Mar 17, 2021

What should I wear when meeting with an attorney?

The standard attire for meeting with you lawyer should be business casual. Wear dress pants, a nice shirt or top. Women should wear a conservative dress or skirt.Sep 4, 2019

What you should know before you talk to a lawyer?

10 Things You Should Know Before Contacting a LawyerHave Your Documents Ready. ... Research the Elements of Your Case. ... Don't Call if You Just Have a Question. ... You May Not Speak to a Lawyer Right Away. ... Do Not Ask the Legal Support Staff for Advice. ... Don't Provide Too Much Information. ... Answer the Lawyer's Specific Questions.More items...•Feb 6, 2020

How often should I hear from my attorney?

You should never be afraid or feel like an intrusion to contact your attorney every three weeks or so, or more frequently if there is a lot going on with your health or other matters related to your legal case. There is of course a limit to how much you should be contacting or sharing.Jun 17, 2020

How do you know a bad lawyer?

Signs of a Bad LawyerBad Communicators. Communication is normal to have questions about your case. ... Not Upfront and Honest About Billing. Your attorney needs to make money, and billing for their services is how they earn a living. ... Not Confident. ... Unprofessional. ... Not Empathetic or Compassionate to Your Needs. ... Disrespectful.Aug 19, 2020

What color should a woman wear to court?

The best color to wear to court is probably navy blue or dark gray. These colors suggest seriousness. At the same time, they do not come with the negative connotations that are often associated with the color black (for instance, some people associate black with evil, coldness, and darkness).

Can you wear jeans to mediation?

You want to be well-groomed and dress somewhat conservatively. Button-down shirts and blouses, sweaters, slacks or khakis are all appropriate choices. You may also wear jeans to a deposition or mediation if they are clean and without tears.Aug 23, 2019

What should you wear to a lawyers office?

Generally, it is recommended that you dress in business casual attire when consulting with a lawyer. Wearing appropriate attire can mean the difference between being taken seriously and not. Your purpose for meeting with a lawyer can also influence the way you choose to present yourself.Sep 30, 2021

Is it normal to not hear from your lawyer?

Throughout the process of getting your financial settlement after becoming injured, there may be periods of time that you do not hear from your attorney. Although this can be unnerving, it is a normal part of the legal process.Oct 25, 2018

What do you say when you call a lawyer?

0:261:20What To Say When You Call An Attorney - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipKnow kind of ballpark. Terms where you're coming from. And then you can elaborate on your specific.MoreKnow kind of ballpark. Terms where you're coming from. And then you can elaborate on your specific. Situation. And when you keep it simple in the beginning it really does make it easier.

What do you say when talking to a lawyer?

Tips for Talking to an AttorneyAlways be as honest and candid as possible about the facts of your case. ... Ask questions if you don't understand something that your attorney mentions or explains to you.Approach an attorney about your case as soon as you think you may need one.More items...•Aug 4, 2015

Why is it important to meet with an attorney?

Your first meeting with an attorney is an opportunity to share your story and obtain a powerful tool–legal representation . While it is important to tell your story , it is also important to get comfortable with each other.

How do clients pay attorneys?

There are two ways that clients pay attorneys. The first way is called a “retainer,” where the client pays the attorney in advance for his or her legal services, and when the lawyer has worked for the full amount of the retainer, the client pays the attorney at their hourly rate. Retainers are most common in cases that don’t involve claims for money–usually criminal defense, divorce, and bankruptcy claims.

Can you remember what you discussed with an attorney?

It can be difficult to remember what you discussed with an attorney days or even weeks later when the situation arises again. We encourage all potential clients to take a few notes on important discussion topics during their consultation so they have something to jog their memory later. Additionally, there may be follow-up information or documents we need you to obtain before we can take the next step, and it is always helpful to have those type of instructions written down.

Can Melissa Graham Hurd and Associates prepare for an appointment?

The attorneys at Melissa Graham-Hurd & Associates, LLC, can take time to prepare for your appointment if you complete any provided client information sheets and return them to the office well in advance of your appointment. Your time with one of the attorneys will be most productive if you fill the questionnaire out fully so we know what questions to ask you.

What is the first meeting between a lawyer and a prospective client?

All attorneys meet with prospective clients in what is called an initial consultation. This is a first meeting between you and the lawyer to help you both decide whether you want to work together in an attorney-client relationship. At this point, you are both checking each other out, and getting information and advice that can help you with your case regardless of whether you hire that lawyer or any other one.

How to share documents with a lawyer?

Make a set of copies of everything that you plan to share with the lawyer. Give the lawyer the copies at the beginning of the initial consultation. Prudent attorneys do not accept original documents, and you do not want to waste precious time or money waiting while the attorney makes copies. So fax the documents to the law office before the meeting.

Why do attorneys keep their information confidential?

Remember, the attorney will keep this information confidential, unless required to share it with a court because it is relevant to the legal matter or with law enforcement for a public-safety reason. You may think the information is too trivial or embarrassing to mention, but it may well be extremely important, so share it.

What to do if you have no court papers?

Even if you have no court papers yet, you may have on hand or could readily obtain documents that could be helpful.

Can I meet with an attorney alone?

It is usually in your best interest to meet with the attorney alone, even if the other person is paying for the appointment. Your friend (s) or loved one (s) can wait in the lobby. To avoid interruptions, be sure to turn off all cell phones or other electronic devices just before your appointment.

How long should a lawyer meet with you?

First, keep your expectations reasonable. Most initial consults last about 60 minutes. The lawyer will not be able to solve a complex legal matter in that time; court cases take months or years to resolve. (In fact, some attorneys provide little or no legal advice in the first meeting.) In the first meeting, the lawyer will only have time to let you know what she thinks will happen and how much she will charge. Remember that the first meeting with the attorney is just the start.

Do lawyers lie?

In real life, lawyers must follow a strict set of ethical rules. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct clearly state that a lawyer shall not “make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal.” Any lawyer who breaks this rule would be punished. So, contrary to popular belief, lawyers cannot lie.

What happens at your first meeting with an attorney?

The first meeting with an attorney usually involves the exchange of a lot of information.

What to talk about at a lawyer consultation?

At the consultation, be prepared to talk about your case. The lawyer may not too many details of your case before you sign a fee agreement, but you should be prepared just in case.

What does a probate lawyer want to know?

In addition to a general understanding of your legal needs, the lawyer may want to know who else is involved with the case and their relationship to you. For example, in some probate matters, a client visits the lawyer to seek help for his or her parents or siblings.

What to do if a lawyer doesn't ask for documentation?

Even if a lawyer doesn't ask for documentation beforehand, it's still a good idea to bring a copy of all relevant documents to the meeting. Spend some time thinking about what you may have on hand. Try to organize the documents in a logical manner before you meet with the lawyer.

How to save money on legal fees?

To save money on legal fees, take the time to select a good lawyer, prepare well for your first meeting, and do everything you can to reduce the time that lawyer will have to spend on your case . Even eliminating one email exchange could save you hundreds of dollars.

How to start a relationship with an attorney?

After you decide on which attorney to hire, you’ll sign a fee agreement and officially begin your relationship with your lawyer. The first meeting with an attorney usually involves the exchange of a lot of information. You will spend a good deal of time explaining to the attorney the details of your legal issue and answering his or her questions. He or she will spend a good amount of time discussion and laying out a plan. If you think you might get nervous or forget something, you could practice this conversation with a friend, or you could write down what you want to say.

Do lawyers charge for consultations?

Attorney consultations vary, depending on the attorney’s preferences. Some lawyers charge for a consultation, others don’t. Some will only hold consultations over the phone, but some will let you come in (this is best, so that you can get a better feel for the attorney).

What do bankruptcy attorneys do?

Your bankruptcy attorney is going to do most of the work; that’s why you hire them. But by taking steps to prepare information about your assets, debts, and income before your first meeting , you’ll likely have a productive first meeting with your attorney and lay the foundation for excellent representation.

What are the three things that a bankruptcy attorney will likely spend the least amount of time discussing?

Oddly enough, of the three things, assets, debts , and income, your bankruptcy attorney will likely spend the least amount of time discussing your debts . At this stage, the character or type of each debt is more important than the balances. The bankruptcy code sorts debts into three broad categories: secured debts , priority unsecured debts , and general unsecured debts.

What to do if you are called into a meeting by your employer?

If you are called into a meeting by your employer and you believe that they are preparing to terminate your employment or otherwise discriminate against you in some fashion, you may want to first reach out to an employment attorney to discuss your situation.

What does it mean when an employee is called into a meeting?

When an employee is called into a meeting with his/her boss or Human Resources, panic will sometimes set in. There may have been certain events that led up to this meeting which indicate to the employee that the meeting is not likely to go well. It could be that the employee.

What happens if you refuse to attend a meeting?

If you do refuse to attend the meeting, then your employer can (and quite possibly will) discipline you, and it may make it more difficult to pursue a legitimate legal claim .

Can an employee bring an attorney to a meeting?

Generally speaking, an employee cannot bring his/her lawyer to a meeting at work. There is no absolute right to counsel that affords employees the right to have an attorney involved in employment matters.

Can an attorney reach out to an employer?

Additionally, if given enough notice, an attorney may be able to reach out to your employer’s legal counsel prior to the meeting date to present them with certain legal claims.

Can you request a third party to be present in a meeting?

You can request that a third party be present in the meeting to witness everything. This third party could be a co-worker, someone from HR, or someone from management. However, there is nothing that requires an employer to provide a third-party witness in a meeting. In Texas, individuals have the legal right to record conversations ...

Can you record a conversation in Texas?

In Texas, individuals have the legal right to record conversations that they are a party to . That means that you cannot be charged criminally for recording a conversation that you are a party to. However, employers may still have policies that prohibit employees from recording any conversations at work. It is important to first refer ...


How Should I Act During The Meeting with The Lawyer?

  • Treat your first meeting as a business consultation. While you are trying to develop a friendly rapport with your lawyer, you also want the lawyer to see you as a serious client with serious needs. 1. Be prompt.Lawyers value their time, since they generally bill by the hour. Showing up t…
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Get An Understanding of The Attorney's Fee Structure and Related Costs

  • As part of your initial meeting with your attorney, it's important to understand the anticipated cost of representation and how this will be calculated. Different lawyers bill clients differently. Some charge by the hour; some charge by the project, on a flat-fee or contingency basis. In the case of lawyers who charge hourly, some start out by charging a retainer, which is an initial up-front fee t…
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Clarify What Will Happen After The Meeting

  • Be clear on what will happen next, and then be sure to follow through on whatever you're asked to do by your new attorney. The attorney will need cooperation from your end. Commonly, a lawyer will ask you to send additional documents or information pertaining to your case so that the lawyer can review it in detail. If it's not clearly spelled out in your representation agreement, ask t…
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Questions For Your Attorney

  1. How long have you practiced in this area of law?
  2. How many cases have you handled that are like mine?
  3. What was the outcome in those cases?
  4. How long does it typically take to resolve cases like mine?
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