Ideally, the first meeting between an attorney and a potential client is not just an initial consultation about the client’s case. The first meeting is for the client to determine if the client wants to hire the attorney AND for the attorney to determine if there are any issues or facts with the client’s case that would make the attorney turn down the client’s case.
From the potential client’s perspective, you need to interview the attorney and see if they will handle your case the way that you want your case handled. For example, do you want an aggressive attorney? An attorney that gets along with opposing counsel? Do you want your case handled quickly or would you like to go through extensive ligation? It is also important to determine whether the attorney has the experience and knowledge in the area of law that you are hiring them to represent you. You need to determine what the office and billing practices are for the firm. Based on these and other considerations, you should come prepared with a list of questions to ask the attorney. For ideas on what to ask when meeting a prospective attorney for the first time, watch this YouTube video for 15 great questions to ask as well.
The initial consultation also provides the attorney with an opportunity to decide whether they want to take a prospective client’s case. What might make an attorney not want to take your case? Your case could be more contested than the attorney has time and availability to help with at this time. There could be a conflict of interest that could keep the attorney from taking the case. Maybe the attorney does not want to work with opposing counsel in the case or does not like to practice in the jurisdiction where your case is filed. Your case could be in a practice area that the attorney does not practice.
Why do attorneys charge for consultations?
Typically, during an initial consultation with an attorney, a prospective client will want to talk about their case and find out what the attorney thinks the next steps are or how the client should go forward. The answers to these questions are legal advice, and should only be given between a client and their attorney. Legal advice is not free, and you should only get legal advice from your attorney (not from friends or family members, who are usually not attorneys and don’t know the law or how the court system works where your case is filed).
How do I schedule a consultation?
1. Complete this form, and we will contact you;
2. Call 770-271-2991 ext. 220; or
3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.