Find a Lawyer
By Practice Area
Labor & Employment Law
Wills & Probate
By Life Events
Getting a Divorce
Write a Will
Bankruptcy, Credit and Debt
Home Disaster Recovery
Losing a Job
Care for an Aging Relative
Hot Topics on Lawyers.com
Understand Your Legal Issue
Ask a Lawyer
Ask a Question
Discuss Your Legal Issue
Legal News & Blogs
Understand Your Legal Issue
> Meeting With A Lawyer
More … (300+)
Meeting With A Lawyer
Selecting A Lawyer
Preparing To Meet With A Lawyer
Treat your first meeting as a business consultation. Dress well and be prompt. Be polite and courteous. You'll want to impress the lawyer, just as he or she will be trying to impress you.
Give the lawyer the chance to get to know you. Don't feel compelled right off the bat to blurt out everything you want to tell the lawyer about your legal issues or needs. Many times, a lawyer will want to get some background information and even shoot the breeze a bit. This provides both you and the lawyer with the chance to evaluate each other on an informal basis
Let the lawyer do the talking initially. You'll have all sorts of information you'll want to relate, but the lawyer will be better able to focus on the background facts he or she feels are relevant or important. The more prepared you are with completed questionnaires, documents, diagrams and your own questions, the easier this process will be, and the more you will impress the lawyer.
During your initial consultation, share all relevant information with the lawyer. Even if you don't end up hiring the lawyer, everything you tell him or her during your meeting is subject to the
, so honesty is in your best interest. Let the lawyer decide what is or is not in your favor. It's much better for the lawyer to know the bad things up front, rather than be surprised later.
If the lawyer is interested in representing you, you can expect that he or she will go through an educational process with you. You should take the time to make a honest assessment of your opposition and, if asked, to be able to relate the thoughts you have to the lawyer. Forget the huffing and puffing. Give your lawyer the straight scoop.
The lawyer may give you alternatives as to what you can do. You should discuss the possible consequences of each option. Look for practical legal advice that in your own mind translates into good business sense.
Depending up on how well prepared you are, the lawyer may even be able to give you advice on how to proceed. This could be especially important when time is short. For example, if your business has been sued and you need to file a response to the lawsuit immediately, you'll want a lawyer to get on the matter right away. By the end of your meeting, you should leave with a clear understanding of what you've accomplished.
If the lawyer is willing to take your case, you should be told what he or she charges for services. You may be presented with a contract that is called a retainer agreement or a legal services agreement. The lawyer should explain it to you. Read and understand the document before you think about signing it. At that time, or before services are rendered, you may also be asked to pay a retainer or deposit up front.
Be clear on what is to happen next, and then be sure to follow through on whatever you're asked to do by your new attorney. The attorney will insist on cooperation from your end. If it's not clearly spelled out in a retainer agreement, also be sure to ask the lawyer how he or she would prefer to communicate with you, and then keep in contact regularly with your attorney.
You probably wouldn't be meeting with the lawyer in the first place if you weren't ready to hire somebody. While you may still change your mind at almost any point, be prepared to proceed forward by bringing a checkbook and/or a credit card to pay a retainer to the lawyer if he or she asks before moving forward. Keep in mind that lawyers cost a lot of money and you will be expected to
pay for their services
. From the lawyer's perspective, a client who is unwilling to pay a retainer up front for good legal advice may not be willing to pay for it down the road.
Questions for Your Attorney
How long have you practiced in this area of law?
How many cases have you handled that are like my case?
What was the outcome in those cases?
How long does it typically take to resolve cases like mine?
Have a Legal Question?
It’s Free & Easy.
Was this helpful?
Lawyers.com Verified Content
Lawyers.com legal editors have reviewed and verified that the content included in this article reflects accurate and up to date legal information.
Ask a Lawyer
Have a Legal Question?
It’s simple, free and safe.
Submit your legal question confidentially with ease of mind.
Receive multiple answers from top rated lawyers.
Jets Running Back Mike Goodson Was Drunk In A Parked SUV, With A Gun And Weed. Go Jets!
Drunk Umpire Passes Out At High School Baseball Game, Tries To Attack People Helping Him
O.J. Simpson Is Back In Court, Trying To Get More Charges Thrown Out. At Least These Ones Aren't For Murder!
Big Win For Guess In Gucci Case
Justin Bieber, Usher Sued for $10 Million Over Alleged Copyright Infringement
Do It Yourself Legal Forms
Choose A Topic
-- Bankrutpcy Evaluation
-- Divorce Agreement
-- Last Will and Testament
-- Legal Name Change
-- Living Trust
-- Living Will
-- Pet Protection Agreement
-- Power of Attorney
View All Personal Documents
-- 501(c)(3) Application
-- Copyright Registration
-- DBA Filing Service
-- Incorporation Services
-- Limited Liabiltity Corporation (LLC)
-- Non-Disclosure Agreement
-- Non-Profit Incorporation Service
-- Partnership Agreement
-- Provisional Patent Application
-- Real Estate Deed Transfer
-- Real Estate Lease
-- Trademark Registration
View All Professional Documents
DBA Filing Service
Incorporate your Business
Last Will and Testament
Limited Liabiltity Corporation
Power of Attorney
Provisional Patent Application
Lexis One Free CaseLaw
Connect with Us
Subscribe to our Free Legal Newsletter
Get Lawyers.com for Mobile
The information provided on Lawyers.com is not legal advice, Lawyers.com is not a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on Lawyers.com are paid attorney advertisements and do not in any way constitute a referral or endorsement by Lawyers.com or any approved or authorized lawyer referral service. Your access of/to and use of this site is subject to additional
Terms and Conditions
Terms & Conditions
| Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.