Guide: Make the most of your consultation.
If you need a referral to a pre-screened lawyer in your area, call Attorney Search Network at (800) 215-1190 or fill out a find a lawyer form online.
Once you have been referred to an Attorney and have your consultation scheduled, use this guide to make your first meeting and selection of your lawyer as successful as possible.
A consultation can be in person or over the phone. There are three goals in every consultation:
Once these three core issues are established, both you and the lawyer will have enough information to decide if you want to work together on your legal issue. Not all lawyers work with every type of law. Even within areas of law, there may be types of cases a lawyer will not take. Lawyers may not take your case based on the type of case, elements of the case, conflicting courts schedules, available calendar space, representation conflicts, personal choice or court jurisdiction. If a lawyer does not accept your case, do not be offended, contact Attorney Search Network and we will try to refer you to another attorney.
The cost of representation can vary depending on what type of case. There are cases in which you hire the lawyer to be your legal advocate / legal representative, these are typically called "Non-Contingency" cases. Non-Contingency case will require you to hire the attorney. "Contingency" cases are cases in which the lawyer does not charge upfront for their time and/or expenses of the case. They are paid a portion of the settlement at the end of the case.
In order for your lawyer to understand if they can or will take your case and/or how much the fee will be, you need to communicate your case as concisely, simply and completely as possible. See step 3.
There is general misunderstanding about legal consultations. Here is a list of things they are NOT.
You are going to gain a lot of information during your consultation. The more prepared you are the more information you will obtain during your consultation. However, if you come unprepared it will be hard for your lawyer to provide as much value as they can during your consultation. If you need large volumes of paper work reviewed, a complex issue evaluated or information requiring research, it is unrealistic to gain this knowledge during your first consultation. Most likely you will need to hire the attorney do this work for you. In this case use the consultation as an opportunity to interview the lawyer and determine if you want to retain thier services.
This is a highly critical step in selecting legal representation. You are already off to a good start by using a Lawyer Referral Service, you are assured that the lawyer is in good standing with the California State Bar Association, carries malpractice insurance and has been in practice for 5 or more years. In the consultation, it is your responsibly to communicate your legal issue to the best of your ability. The better this goes, the more likely the lawyer will understand your issue and the more accurate their fee estimate will be. There are a few steps to having a successful consultation.
When you have decided to hire a lawyer for your case, your lawyer should give you a written retainer or fee agreement. Read this agreement carefully before you sign, ask your lawyer questions if there is something you do not understand. The retainer agreement should list the expected legal work and the legal fees. After you have signed the retainer agreement, ask for a copy to keep for your records.
5. Your Lawyer's Responsibilities
Your lawyer is responsible for providing objective legal advice and ensuring that your legal rights are protected. Your lawyer should be ethical, have knowledge of the law, communicate with you effectively, keep your case confidential and remain loyal to you as their client. Your lawyer should keep you posted on the status of your case. Most of all, your lawyer should work towards your best interests.
If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact Attorney Search Network.
Call us or fill out the form above for a Lawyer Referral to an Attorney Search Network panel lawyer or law firm.
This web site is owned and operated by Attorney Search Network. Attorney Search Network is a California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral Service (Certification # 113) Attorney Search Network meets all American Bar Association Standards for Lawyer Referral Services.
Disclaimer: Attorney Search Network is an Attorney Referral Service and cannot provide legal advice, comment on legal cases or answer legal questions. If we cannot provide a Lawyer Referral, we will try and provide you with other Legal Services information relevant to your legal issue. Read our disclaimer for more information.