Going to meet an attorney for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you have no idea what to expect. To put your mind at ease before entering an attorney’s office, you should keep these four things in mind:
- Your attorney is a person, just like you.
- Your attorney is there to help you.
- Attorney-Client Privilege means your lawyer must keep what you share in strict confidence (unless you give permission to share it). Be sure to speak candidly about your case.
- If you come prepared, you’ll feel more confident, making the process easier for everyone.
While the first three have to do with your outlook and attitude, the last tip requires a bit more preparation. So how exactly should you prepare for your meeting with an attorney?
When you’re dealing in legal matters, paperwork is your friend. Be sure to complete any forms your attorney has prepared and sent ahead of your appointment, taking your time to ensure the information is thorough and accurate. Make copies of any important documents or evidence for your records, so that you can leave the originals with your attorney, and be sure to gather anything you think might be pertinent to your case. This will save you and your attorney time and money.
Notes are an important part of this process. Especially if there are things you need to remember to tell your attorney, or incidents that should be recorded while still fresh in your mind. Make notes of anything you think may be relevant to your legal matter and be sure to type them up and print them out for ease of use by your attorney, saving a copy for yourself at home.
Because you’ll undoubtedly have questions, concerns and topics you’d like to tackle at your meeting that you don’t want to forget, it’s best to sit down a few days before your meeting and make a list of these questions. Things may come to mind later, so put your list somewhere convenient, where you can continue to add to it as new questions occur to you.
Be on Time and Stay Focused
Your attorney’s time is valuable. Showing up on time or even a little early, with all of your notes, questions and paperwork demonstrates that you’re ready to aid in this process, and keeps things running smoothly. Let your attorney ask questions and guide the process. Be honest, focused and stay on track and on topic. When your attorney is done, ask any questions and share any notes you may have, taking care to ensure you are clear about next steps.
Meeting with a lawyer for the first time may be something new, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating – especially if you make the necessary preparations. Remember, this is not a situation to be afraid of. Your attorney is on your side, and will be working hard to advocate for you.
All attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence are committed to helping their clients through difficult circumstances, and are dedicated to making sure that each case receives the time, care, and skill necessary. Take a moment to meet them.