Have you finally made an appointment to consult with a lawyer about that looming legal matter? Good for you. Many people don’t have much experience with legal professionals and are unsure how to prepare for that important first consultation.
There are a few things you need to get organized before you get on the phone with your prospective lawyer. Getting your own thoughts and concerns in order, as well as any paperwork he or she needs to know about, is crucial.
After all, the more you have prepared in advance, the faster your lawyer can understand your unique situation and begin to work on your case. The faster your lawyer can work, the easier you can rest easy knowing your issue has been resolved well.
Here are some things to prepare before your phone consultation:
Have Your Paperwork Ready
Prepare anything you believe your lawyer might need. This might mean starting to gather paperwork a week or more in advance. Print out documents. Contact agencies for reports or other official documents.
Don’t pick up the phone without everything the lawyer needs. This wastes their time as well as yours. It may also end up costing you more money since lawyers are most often retained based on their time.
Have your Questions Written and Organized
Be able to clearly state what your situation is, what outcome you would like to see, why the law is in your favor and how the lawyer can help you. The less time you waste dancing around the issue, the more time the lawyer can use advising you.
If you have questions, keep a pad nearby during the days before the consultation, Use it to jot down questions. The day before the meeting, condense them into an organized list so that you don’t forget anything when you are on the call.
Don’t Just Talk, Listen
It might be your tendency to over-explain your unique legal situation or to go off on tangents about how you ended up in your legal predicament.
Make some notes that will keep you on track. Get to your points quickly and let the lawyer do most of the talking. You are paying to hear their thoughts, advice, and recommendations; not for them to simply hear your story.
Remember, your lawyer can’t serve you any better by knowing your innermost feelings about your legal predicament.
Once you’ve explained your needs, try to stay quiet. Listen to what they say and take as many notes as possible so your remember what was discussed.
If you plan to work further with them, keep a list of any documents you need to send them and how to contact them in the future.
The Little Things
Before you make the call to your prospective lawyer, check on all the little things you need to make your call go smoothly:
- Charge your phone
- Get a glass of water
- Close the windows and reduce any other background noise
- Have a pen and paper nearby
- Make sure you’ve used the bathroom
Basically, take care of anything that could distract you once you are on the call. You want to be able to give your full attention to the lawyer.
Stay tuned to Asia Law Network for more information on attorney consultations and all things law-related.
This article is written by Adrian Mah from Asia Law Network.
This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to practicing lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Interstellar Group Pte. Ltd. accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.