When you set up a first time meeting with your lawyer, it will mostly be a consultation. You would get a feel of working with the lawyer and what they can do for you. Most people moving to another country require immigration consultations with lawyers. If you are planning to shift overseas, you should contact iasservices.org.uk for the best tips on which visa will suit you, how you can apply, and the documentation and paperwork you will require.
Usually, consultation with lawyers is necessary for you to understand fee structures, experience, and qualifications. You should transparently speak to the lawyer and let them know that this will only be an initial consultation when you set up a meeting. It is best to be upfront about the reasons for the visit too.
Let us look at what to prepare for your first meeting with the lawyer.
When setting up a meeting, it is best to ask the lawyer which documents you should get with you. Many times (at initial meetings), lawyers ask to see some paperwork relevant to your issue or case. They do this to assess if they are qualified and can help you with your requirements.
When you speak to the lawyer before your first meeting, you should also ask about the cost of the initial meeting. Many times these consultations are free, and the meter starts only after you hire the lawyer. You could also ask about payment methods. It will help if you write everything down (like a list of paperwork). You should also write down all the questions you have about the future of the case, any doubts regarding the working, and the processes.
Some lawyers may even ask you to fill out a survey or questionnaire before you meet them. If you have been sent one, you should fill it up truthfully without leaving out any relevant details. Your attorney may need these details while evaluating your case.
2. Dress Appropriately:
Meeting with a lawyer is serious business. You should dress in smart business casuals or formals. You should ensure your clothes are clean, well-ironed, and non-wrinkled. Dressing appropriately shows confidence and understanding of your situation. Most lawyers also want to assess whether they would like to take your case and work with you. If you make them understand the issue’s importance, you would have a higher chance of getting your claim accepted.
Men should avoid wearing shorts and sneakers. Instead, khakis or pants with button-down shirts will look more presentable. The shoes should also be formal. If you are sporting a beard, you should ensure it is well-trimmed and your hair is brushed. Women should stick to pants, standard tops, formal dresses or skirts, and formal shoes. You should also avoid wearing flashy jewellery or extremely bright makeup.
While there are no strict rules for dress codes when meeting a lawyer, it is ideal for making the best impression.
3. Personal Information:
Many people prefer writing everything down. The lawyer may ask you for personal information about your health, marital status, past records, finances, and more. While this may seem highly objectionable, you should condition your mind to accept that you will have to respond to these questions. You should also have all the information handy in case you are asked to produce relevant papers.
Things like the passport, birth certificates, graduation documents, transcripts, work documents, and any other legal papers should be kept on you. Apart from these, you should also keep your utility bills, wedding or divorce papers, financial documents, tax filings, and more. While all this information is highly personal, you may have to let the lawyer know about it all.
4. Identify Your Objectives:
When you visit a lawyer for the first time, it is best to have your objectives listed about the outcome. Many times, lawyers present you with different results. You should also have an idea about which most likely outcomes you want from your case. It is of no use to meet a lawyer if you are unsure about what you want from the lawyer; you may have a dissatisfactory first meeting.
While you visit the lawyers and get help and information about the case, you should also remember that the final say on how the case should proceed is with you. You cannot be forced or coerced into following only what the lawyer tells you. You must know all your options and objectives before deciding on the next step.
You can also ask for a written explanation of the choices, different objectives, and outcomes of the case in your consultation. You may wish to go through these notes later or may want to put off making a final decision for a few days. While it is in your interest to know all the objectives, it is also the lawyer’s choice to accept or reject your case.
5. Write Out All Your Questions:
Always remember that you are visiting the lawyer to get your questions asked. You should make a detailed list of all the doubts, queries, and questions you may have. In addition to the questions about your case and how things will proceed, you should also ask all relevant questions about the billing hours or packages, fee deposits, and so on.
When you are meeting a lawyer for the first time, some good questions would be:
- Have you handled cases like mine earlier?
- What is your area of expertise?
- How much experience do you have in dealing with similar cases to mine?
- What will the total cost be?
- Are there any non-legal ways to solve this issue – without requiring a court hearing?
- What is the best form of communication – email, texts, phone calls?
- How long will the resolution of the case take?
- Are there any ways to curb expenses in this case?
- How many people will be working on my case, and will they also bill their hours separately?
It is best to have answers to all these questions, so you do not have any surprises later. You should schedule an appointment at least 2 – 3 days prior and ensure you reach your meeting on time.
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