Tips For Preparing for a First Interview With a Lawyer
When searching for a law firm, sometimes there are so many lawyers offering the same kinds of services that it can be difficult to choose the right person to help you. There are often pages and pages advertising lawyers Yellow Pages.
It can be a time-consuming process, which is not ideal especially since the times when we are looking for a lawyer are often emergencies, and we have little time to spare.
Once you have identified a law professional, it’s important to be fully prepared for your first meeting. This is basically an interview that determines if you will work with this person going forward to help solve your legal problem.
Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your first interview with a lawyer.
First of all, ensure that you bring as many facts, documents, and other pieces of information or documentation that can help your case. Also, ensure that you are calm and unemotional, and can provide a factual and reasonably objective account of events. As well, understand what you want to have happen, and make sure that the lawyer is someone you can work with.
Remember, this first meeting is more like a “job interview”. If you feel uncomfortable with the lawyer, then shop around for another one.
Next, during the interview itself, describe your problem succinctly, and, as said before, without emotion (if you can manage it). Be sure to ask questions, especially if you are unfamiliar with certain words or “legalese”.
People always recommend “asking questions”, but it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what questions are best. The first questions to ask should involve the prospective lawyer’s expertise: is the lawyer a specialist in your type of legal problem? How much experience does he or she have?
It’s also important to ask questions about the steps needed to resolve your legal problem, and how much time it will take, both in hourly terms, and in absolute terms (i.e., how many weeks, months, or even years). Try to get a cost estimate, and determine the billing procedure as well.
These were just a few tips on how to prepare for a first interview with a lawyer. It’s a complex subject, so sometimes it’s better to ask for advice, either over the telephone or in person. People searching for a law firm in Victoria, BC, for example, can contact the Victoria Law Centre, the Lawyer Referral Service (it costs $25.00), or, as mentioned above, the Yellow Pages.