How should you prepare for your first appointment with an attorney at their law office? Prior to your first consultation, there are steps you can take to ensure the meeting is meaningful. Spend some time considering what questions, concerns, and uncertainties you have, then write them down and bring them with you so you don’t forget. To help you start, here are a few basic topics you might want to ask your prospective representative about.
Getting to Know the Attorney & Law Office
Does the lawyer have experience in cases like yours? For example, if you need a family law attorney for a divorce with child custody issues, check that they have a track record of successful outcomes for your type of situation. If you want to have a will, trust, or other estate planning documents drafted, ensure the professional is knowledgeable and has experience in such matters.
Fees & Costs
Finding out how much the representation costs is an important part of the meeting. Lawyers bill differently depending on the type of case. For personal injury claims, they typically offer fee contracts that do not require any money up front, and they receive a percentage of the amounts recovered in a settlement or after a trial. For other civil matters, such as contract disputes and family law issues, they often charge an hourly rate with a retainer up front. Some areas, like a chapter 7 bankruptcy or most estate planning cases, are handled with a flat rate fee. Also, ask when and how payments are due.
Lines of Communication
Does your lawyer prefer to communicate by secure emails, phone calls, or in other ways? If other firm members or staff will work on your case, ask whether your point of contact is with your attorney directly or another person in the law office. Find out how to contact your attorney if you have an emergency.
Steps After the Meeting
Ask what you need to do next, and when and how it should be done. The attorney may have you send copies of documents for review before the next meeting or may give you some advice to act on, like completing and returning a questionnaire.
At the law office of Blackwell & Associates, PC, in O’Fallon, MO, dedicated and experienced attorneys in various practice areas, including personal injury, bankruptcy, estate planning, business, and family law are ready to answer your questions and serve your needs. Visit their website for more information about their expertise, and call them at (636) 240-3632 to schedule your first consultation appointment.