Often when you are in a position that you need a lawyer, you are not in a good place. If you require a lawyer, you may already be feeling scared and emotional. For the lawyers, they are moving through their regular day and may seem transactional as a result. Birk Law Firm understands that meeting with a lawyer may be difficult for you. It is helpful to understand what a lawyer needs in order to prepare to meet with you for your consultation.
The intention of a consultation is to learn the legal issue or concern you have and understand how a lawyer can assist you. It gives the lawyer an opportunity to review the options that are available to you whine the law. You and the law discuss the best path forward for you. Ultimately, it will be your decision to make, but the lawyer can guide you.
Some lawyers have an initial consultation where they meet with you to get a better understanding of your legal concern. They may not be entirely prepared to discuss your options in-depth. They may have to schedule a follow-up meeting to prepare your options for you. They may be able to listen to you in that initial meeting and present your options. Another way they may handle it is to contact you over the phone, have a brief discussion and then schedule a consultation.
Every firm may handle it slightly differently. It is important to ask questions so you can understand the intention of the meeting. It is also important to note that the lawyer with whom you speak the first time may not be the only lawyer working on your case. The firm may have other lawyers and paralegals that assist with your case. These may be the people with whom you interact after the consultation.
During the consultation, the lawyer focuses on helping you understand your legal rights and claims that you may have. They focus on protecting your interests, as well as those of your business or government, as needed. Your lawyer will manage the process, including the timeline and meeting all deadlines. They will research and develop all legal impacts to your issue. They will present evidence and argue in support of you and your claim. They will handle testimony by witnesses and any cross-examination. They also handle negotiations and settlements that are in your best interest. A lawyer provides advice and counsel to you throughout the entire process.
To be able to do this and prepare properly, your lawyer is going to need some information from you. The more information you can provide will help the lawyer better understand your situation and allow them to give you all of your viable legal options. The intention of this consultation is an opportunity to determine if you want to work with each other. You should come to the consultation with any questions you have. You should write them down, so you do not forget them when you are in front of the lawyer. You want to take notes while you are there.
You may think that you will remember what the lawyer tells you, but you may forget half of what the lawyer told you. Before meeting with the lawyer, you should write down all of the details of your situation. This gives you the time to think about your issue beforehand and capture all of your thoughts. You may miss some details if you do not have them written down. Those details may be more important than you realize. This information is confidential between you and your lawyer. Your lawyer will only share information as needed in a courtroom if it is a legal matter. Your lawyer will inform you ahead of time what information needs to be shared and why.
You should bring all the documents that support your claim to your consultation. Anything that you can access that may have anything to do with you, or your legal issue may be pertinent for your lawyer. There may be records that you do not fully understand why they would need that you should bring with you. These may include birth certificates, driver’s license, pictures, videos, audio recordings, and phone records. You want to have copies that you can give to the lawyer. You should make sure that you keep a copy of all these records for yourself.
If you can, you may want to consider faxing the information to the lawyer or scanning it and sending it via email. If you consider bringing someone you trust to the consultation to be another set of ears, you can. You should keep in mind that when you have a third party in the room may open that person up to being called into court if this is the type of legal concern you have. You may want to have that person come with you, but wait in the lobby, so you do not open them up to this potential.