Preparing for your first meeting with a solicitor
Written by Gabriella Ferraro
What should you do to prepare for a first meeting with your lawyer?
The legal process can seem daunting and unfamiliar if you have had limited prior exposure. It does not have to be a difficult experience. One of the most important roles of your lawyer is to navigate you through the legal process and help you feel informed at every step.
Before your initial consultation
Being prepared will help you to feel comfortable and focus during your initial meeting so that your lawyer can provide you with accurate and relevant advice.
1. Things to prepare before your consultation:
Prepare all necessary paperwork and documentation relating to your matter. In particular, if you have received legal documents, either from the court or an opposing party to your case, bring these documents with you so that your lawyer can review them and better understand your matter.
Write a brief timeline of events: creating a timeline can be extremely useful to understanding the sequence of events that occurred.
Make a list of questions or concerns you may want to communicate during your meeting.
Your first meeting
Lawyers understand that an initial appointment can be nerve-wracking, especially when the meeting involves discussing private and sensitive matters. You must keep in mind that your lawyer is looking to help you with your legal issues and ultimately help you to come to a resolution.
2. What should you expect in your first meeting?
SHARE YOUR STORY
Your first meeting is an opportunity to ‘share your story’. The lawyer will ask you questions that are designed to focus the discussion on the background facts of the case that he or she feels are both relevant and significant.
HONESTY IS KEY
It is a client’s responsibility to be honest and as accurate as possible when relaying the events and facts of their matter to their lawyer. This is important as a lawyer can only provide the best advice for your case in circumstances in which they have full disclosure. Remember, your lawyer’s office is a safe environment where attorney-client privilege and confidentiality rules apply. Failure to be honest can also significantly impact your case.
LENGTH OF APPOINTMENT
Although we schedule each initial consultation for one hour, your actual appointment may last more or less than one hour, depending on the complexity of your situation and the information you have provided to your lawyer.
At Ferraro & Company, during your meeting, your lawyer will take the time to understand your situation, develop your legal claim and determine with you what our strategy would be to resolve your matter. We will take time to answer your questions and ease any concerns that you may have. We will provide advice and explanations tailored to your specific situation that stem from our years of experience, education and training.
It is important that you prepare for your first consultation as much as possible. This will ensure all your questions are answered and that your lawyer has all the information needed in order to effectively represent you.
To book in your first consultation, contact our office on (03) 9311 8911.