The Initial Consultation Conundrum
The majority of people who are forced to enter into the legal system are reluctant to do so. Whether the need for a legal help arises from injury, divorce, or criminal prosecution, being on the phone with a lawyer is often a sign that life has taken some unexpected, perhaps frightening turns. What's more, the idea of actually meeting with an attorney can be an equally intimidating prospect.
But lawyers want nothing more than to help their prospective clients--to help ease the fears associated with the legal system. We're no different, and so, to assist our readers in preparing for their first initial consultation, we've prepared a list of top tips for the first meeting with an attorney.
Tip No. 1: Bring along EVERYTHING. Every person who ends up in a lawyer’s office is there because they have a story to tell, but without information to back up that story a lawyer won't have much to go on. Bring along bills, emails, letters, personal notes—anything you can think of that might be relevant to your case. Lawyers would much rather have too much information than too little; we can always weed through the details at a later date.
Tip No. 2: Start from the beginning. It's difficult for lawyers to piece together a case when the details aren't in chronological order. Try to tell us your story in chronological order by date or time—make notes or draft a calendar if you think that would help. Anything to help us understand what happened to you, and perhaps more importantly, when it happened.
Tip No. 3: Don’t leave out the bad facts. Everyone wants to think that they have the perfect case—that nothing could possibly go wrong for them in the courtroom. But the truth of the matter is that every case has its flaws, and the sooner we hear those flaws, the sooner we can start doing damage control. Nothing hurts a case more than the revelation of a sudden negative detail, so let us know everything—even the bad things—from the outset. Also remember that everything you say to us in an initial consultation is confidential.
Tip No. 4: Just be yourself. If you’re nervous, angry, our hurt about your situation, that's alright. Like we said, the initial consultation is our chance to get to know you and your story. We want to help you, and the best way to help us do that is to be honest not just about your case, but about your feelings as well.
Hopefully this short article has served to prepare you more for your initial consultation. Of course, if you would like to schedule an initial consultation with us, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 920.933.6300. Together, we can help tell your story.
Danny Garcia is an associate at Parks Law Offices. His practice emphasizes Landlord/Tenant, Employment, and Litigation. También habla español.