You’ve never had to meet with a lawyer before, but something has occurred in your life to make it necessary. Maybe it’s a custody situation, maybe you are seeking a divorce, or maybe you need protection from an abusive partner. Regardless of the reason, here are a few things to keep in mind before meeting with your lawyer the first time:
- Be helpful. Bring any paperwork that can assist your lawyer to understand the case better or to aid in preparation for court. If you think it might be helpful, bring a copy for their reference. Also, provide things in writing such as your contact information, birthdate, name of the opposing party, the name of their legal counsel (if applicable), and any previous case information.
- Be organized. There’s a lot of information and paperwork involved in even the simplest case. The easier it is to sort through, the better it is for everybody.
- Be honest. If your lawyer asks you a question, give them an honest answer. If you did something wrong, be sure to tell your lawyer. It’s better to know the truth and prepare for it than be shocked by hearing it for the first time in front of the Judge.
- Be detailed. Don’t tell your lawyer only what the opposing party did and leave out how you reacted to it, etc. Your lawyer needs to know the entire truth if she is going to properly represent you in court.
- Be realistic. Understand that your lawyer will do all they can for you … but they are not miracle workers and must work within the rules of the law and the court system.
- Be focused. The more precise you can be, the more you may help your case!
Think of you and your lawyer as a team. You must work together with honesty and trust. Your lawyer wants you to be happy and to earn the outcome you are seeking, so be sure to do your part to keep the relationship positive and productive!