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How to Have a Successful Consultation

African american businessman gives a phone consultation

Starting the legal process on a matter can be overwhelming, especially if it is the first time you are seeking the services of a lawyer. The purpose of a consultation is for the client to see if the lawyer is the right person to tackle their matter and for the lawyer to become familiar with the details of the case. 

A successful consultation paves the way for a successful collaboration between the lawyer and client. Here are three tips on how to make the most of your consultation:

1. Be Prepared

Come to the consultation knowing the details of your situation, the parties involved, important dates, monetary amounts and so on. It may be helpful to have a timeline written out for you to reference during the consultation. Also, have your questions ready for the lawyer. If there are certain parts of the process you are unsure of, a consultation is a great time to ask for clarification. 

2. Be Open

Be receptive to the information the lawyer is giving you. What you may think the main issue is regarding your case, may not be. Or the lawyer may identify other issues regarding your case as they gain further details from you during the consultation. Be honest and truthful about your situation so the lawyer can do their best to get a clear understanding of your case.

A lawyer’s job is not only to advocate for their clients, but to also manage the client’s expectations of what is possible to achieve and what the case may entail. Be open to what they say and the different strategies that they may suggest to you.

3. Know What You Would Like Your End Result to Be

Whether you are seeking advice on a civil matter, a separation from your partner, or a landlord/tenant matter, have an idea of what you would like to achieve from the legal process and tell the lawyer so they can better advise you. For example, do you want financial compensation, do you want to settle things as quickly as possible, do you want to have primary decision-making responsibility for your children? These are important goals to tell your lawyer so they can assist you in achieving them. 

Make sure to confirm costs, get an understanding of what you will be billed for, when you can expect to be billed and how you can make payment.  It is important that you and your lawyer on the same page regarding your case and all of the issues involved with moving forward in your case.