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Attorney Consultations: Top Ten Dos and Don’ts

  1. DO look at the attorney’s website (or call) to ensure that they handle your type of legal matter. It will save you and the attorney valuable time.  Do you need a family law attorney or an attorney who handles general civil litigation?
  2. Before the consultation, DO make a list of all the questions and concerns you would like to address. Be as specific as possible, but also keep in mind the length of your appointment.  If you have written questions to guide you during the consultation, you are more likely to remain focused.  Check off the questions as they are answered.
  3. DO think of the consultation as an interview.  Ask questions regarding fees and how the attorney handles cases like yours.
  4. DON’T forget to bring any applicable legal documents with you to your consultation.  This will help the attorney better understand your particular legal situation.
  5. DON’T be afraid to ask for resources or websites that may be able to guide you.
  6. If the attorney cannot take your case, DO ask for a referral. We usually have a large referral network and are generally happy to steer potential clients to someone within that network.
  7. DO acknowledge that some of your questions may not be answered immediately. The attorney may need to do a little research after your appointment to find an answer for you.
  8. DO know that your consultation is confidential, even if you do not hire that particular attorney. It is important to be truthful in explaining your legal situation so the attorney is better able to gauge how they may help you.
  9. DON’T assume that an internet search regarding a legal matter is a sufficient substitute for an attorney’s advice. Internet searches are great, but during the consultation, leave this “research” at home.
  10. DO follow your gut. If you do not feel comfortable speaking candidly with the attorney, you probably shouldn’t hire them.  You are trusting them with a lot, and it is important to have a good working relationship