Do This before Meeting with an Attorney
If you are meeting with an attorney for the first time, there are some important things you should know. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts to prepare you for your initial visit with your new law counsel.
Top 8 Things You Should Do Before Meeting with an Attorney for the First Time
- Do call to make an appointment. You may be asked to give information over the phone in the form of an intake, or make an appointment to meet with an attorney in the office.
- Don’t show up unannounced. Many attorneys are in court in the morning and possibly throughout the afternoon. We spend the rest of the day completing matters previously scheduled on our busy calendars.
- Don’t be late. As previously mentioned, our days are often scheduled down to the minute. If you’re late for a meeting, you not only push other meetings back, but you risk having your time cut short because we have another obligation.
- Do bring all necessary documents. Make sure to arrive with any documentation you have pertaining to your case. We will make copies for the file. For example, in a criminal matter this includes tickets, charges, and the piece of paper stating your next court date. For a landlord tenant issue, your lease and eviction notice. For matrimonial and family law matters, your prenuptial agreement, divorce decree or custody agreement.
- Do come prepared with questions. First, please allow the attorney to speak, in order to describe the process of the attorney-client relationship and ask the appropriate questions about your case. Then, once you’ve gone over all the details, make sure to ask questions until you’re satisfied. There’s nothing worse than getting back to your car only to remember 3 more questions, and your court date isn’t for another month.
- Do expect to pay a retainer. Upon meeting with an attorney, we will quote you the cost for handling your matter. You are often expected to pay at least part of that sum when you sign your retainer agreement, which officially marks the beginning of an attorney-client relationship. *There are some areas of law, such as personal injury, where a retainer is not expected upon meeting because the firm works on a contingency basis.
- Do tell the truth. As the old saying goes, there are two people you should never lie to: your doctor and your lawyer. The more information we have, the more we can counsel you on your case, and act appropriately.
- Don’t forget your obligations. Once the initial meeting is complete, we will have most of the tasks moving forward, but you may also have assignments. An attorney might ask you to make a doctor’s appointment, fill out HIPPA forms, or obtain missing paperwork.
- Bonus Tip: Write everything down!
Comfort and Confidence is Key
It is important you feel comfortable and confident after meeting with us, and these steps should ensure a smooth start. At LoTempio PC Law Group, we want you to be as comfortable as possible and are always here to help, no matter your legal needs.
LoTempio PC Law Group focuses on every aspect of the law. See our practice areas here.