When you have a free consultation with a lawyer, you want to get as much value and insight as you can. You want to gather information that will help your case as well as help you determine if the attorney is the right fit for your legal and personal needs. The best way to get the information you need is to come to the meeting prepared.
Get ready by preparing a list of questions you can ask during your free consultation with a lawyer.
What to Ask During a Free Consultation with a Lawyer
There are four important topics you should discuss during a free consultation with a lawyer. Ask the following questions as they relate to working style, your case, attorney experience, and costs and fees.
Will I be working directly with you? Who else will be working on the case? Often, a law firm partner will meet with you initially and then pass your case over to another lawyer or team of paralegals. Find out who will be working on your case with you.
How often will we touch base? How will we communicate? Get an idea of how often you will communicate with the attorney and how you will reach each other. Find out if phone, email, in-person meetings, or some other communication method is best.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case? Get both sides of your case to see what supports your case as well as detracts from it.
What is the likely outcome? How long will the case take? While attorneys can’t guarantee what will happen or how long it will take, they can give you an educated opinion about what you can expect from your case.
How long have you practiced this type of law? Many attorneys practice multiple types of law. Ask questions specifically about the type of law that relates to your case.
Have you worked on similar cases? What were the outcomes of those cases? Learn more about their experience by asking about past cases and how they turned out.
Costs and Fees
What will the cost be? Legal matters have a variety of associated costs. There is the cost of the attorney as well as court and filing fees. Get an idea of what the total cost of your case will be. Also, ask how the attorney will be compensated by you. Some attorneys charge by the hour. Others use a contingency agreement, where they are only paid if you win your case. And, others charge a flat fee for certain legal matters such as immigration cases or prepared trusts and wills.
How much is required to get started? Some attorneys require a retainer to begin work on a case. Find out how much money you will need to provide to the attorney to get started.
Do you have a payment plan? Once you have an idea of associated costs, discuss how you will pay the fees. Find out how the attorney can make it affordable for you.
Tips for Preparing for Your Free Attorney Consultation
Knowing the right questions to ask will help you prepare for your free consultation with a lawyer. As you go into your meeting, also consider these tips that will give you the right mindset and information to make the meeting as productive as possible.
Do your research before you arrive. Don’t go into a free consultation with a lawyer before you have done some initial research. Look at the attorney’s website. Read their reviews. Google the attorney’s name to see if there is any media about them. Get a feel for what type of cases they take on and who they serve before your meeting.
Write down your questions before the meeting (and take notes during the meeting). The last thing you want to do is walk out of the meeting and remember a question you forgot to ask. Don’t rely on your memory during the meeting. Bring a list of your questions, and check them off as you go. Also, take notes during the meeting. Your meeting will be packed with information. You may feel like you are retaining everything, but notes will help you organize the information afterward.
Be honest. Even if you don’t hire the attorney, the information you share during your free consultation is protected under attorney-client privilege. It is a confidential meeting, so be fully open and transparent during the consultation. Share all of the details relevant to your case so the attorney can get the full picture and best understand how to represent you.
Bring documentation. The more information you can provide to the attorney, the better. Bring any documentation that helps tell your story. When you schedule the free consultation, ask if there is any documentation that can provide context based on the type of case you have. For example, there are certain documents that can be specifically helpful in a personal injury or family law matter.
Get a Free Consultation with a Lawyer
A free consultation with a lawyer is the first step in your legal journey. Make sure you get the most out of this process by asking the right questions and taking steps to get prepared before your initial meeting. When you are prepared, you’ll be better able to vet attorneys and find the best lawyer for your unique situation.
See if TJ Grimaldi is the right attorney for your case. Prepare your list of questions, and request your free consultation with TJ today to see how he can help.
Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.