Site Menu

Erie County Lawyer Referral & Information Service

How to Prepare for Your 30 Minute Consultation

The initial consultation with your attorney is one of the most important steps in resolving your legal issue. During your first meeting, your attorney has to understand your legal issue well enough to accept your case or inform you how much they will charge you for representation. To make the most out of the consultation, it is important to be well prepared and focused. Follow these steps to prepare for your 30 minute consultation with your attorney.

Bring all documents. Make copies of all the documents you have collected regarding your case. Give these copies to the lawyer.

Get organized and take notes. Write down notes outlining your legal problem, or any questions you may have. The lawyer you are referred to must have your details in order to decide what is important and how to move forward in your best interests.

Dress for success. Even though you may be very emotional about your case, dress as if you are going to a business meeting or applying for a job. You will feel in control, which is important.

Be honest. It is very important that you give an honest account of your legal problem. This includes issues that may be sensitive to you or your family.

Listen to your lawyer. Listen to your lawyer and think about what your lawyer asks you to do. The lawyer’s judgments are based on legal training and experience.  Your lawyer will provide advice that has your best interests in mind.

Read all documents carefully before signing. Before you sign a document, ask your lawyer to fully explain to you what exactly it is that you are signing.

Keep your own files. Don’t hesitate to ask for copies of all letters and documents prepared on your case. You should also keep the written fee agreement between you and your lawyer for your records.

Talk about how much this will cost you.  Your attorney will be ready to discuss the cost, so you should be too. Be sure to retain a copy of your fee agreement for your records.