An initial client meeting with a lawyer is a time of evaluation. You, the potential client, evaluate the lawyer to see if his or her firm will fight for your rights, while the lawyer evaluates your case to see if it is something the firm can help you with.
Here are four things to bring to your initial meeting to help it go well.
1. Your Story.
The lawyer needs to know what has happened in order to evaluate the potential of your case, but if it takes an hour for you to tell your story, you’re using too much detail. You should prepare a short version of your story, one that gives an overview of the major points in less than 15 minutes. Don’t leave out any important elements, of course, but keep your story to the point. If the lawyer wants you to elaborate about something, he or she will ask.
2. A Time Line.
In order to help yourself communicate clearly and efficiently, write down a brief time line of what happened. This will become vital information for your lawyer when he or she drafts pleadings, or legal documents that assert your claims. Example:
- May 24, 2004 – signed lease with tenants
- August-December 2004 – rent consistently late
- January 2005 – no rent paid
- February 1, 2005 – sent letter warning of eviction
- February 15, 2005 – lockout on property
Depending on your type of case, you will need to have certain documents to prove your claims. However, it is generally a good idea to keep records of the following: correspondence, phone logs and voicemail logs, legal documents related to previous cases, medical records, contracts and leases, invoices and checks, bank statements, tax documents, insurance documents, employee manuals, wills, and closing documents. These papers could very well become evidence in your lawsuit. Bring them with you.
Naturally, you have questions about the process of retaining a lawyer. Do you really need a lawyer? How much does it cost to hire a lawyer? How long can you expect a lawsuit to last? How can Mosser Law PLLC help you? First, check out our FAQs page, and then come talk to us. You should leave an initial client meeting with all your questions answered.
As always, our blog posts are not legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship! At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for having a lawyer of your own.