What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation with an Attorney

If you need help navigating the complex legal landscape, hire an attorney. An experienced attorney is worth their salt. If you are locked in a dispute with an individual or a business, your attorney can help you develop a legal strategy. They can negotiate with the opposing party and will also represent you if negotiations fail and a lawsuit is filed.

What Happens During an Initial Consultation With a Lawyer?

Many attorneys offer a free consultation or a free evaluation, while others may charge a small fee for an initial consultation. A free consultation is an opportunity for a law firm to review your case. During an initial consultation, the attorney may ask you several questions to develop a better understanding of your case and your goals. The attorney will review your case, discuss your legal options, assess the likelihood of a desirable outcome, and determine the amount of work required.

Once the attorney has evaluated your case, you can ask any questions you may have. Some questions to ask an attorney during an initial consultation are

  • Do you have any experience handling similar cases?
  • What are the possible outcomes of my case?
  • How do you bill for your legal services (hourly vs contingency vs a retainer/flat fee)?
  • Can you outline your strategy for my case?
  • Will you or someone else handle my case?
  • Do you foresee any challenges?

Keep in mind that any information provided by a law firm in Santa Rosa or the interpretation of facts by its legal team during the initial consultation does not constitute legal advice. An attorney can be considered a business’s or individual’s legal representative  only after they enter into a formal agreement for representation with the company/person, which may or may not occur following a consultation.

Tips to Prepare for an Initial Consultation With a Lawyer

When meeting an attorney for the first time, remember to bring all relevant documents pertaining to the matter you intend to discuss. This may include copies of court orders, prenuptial agreements, judgments, and any other relevant contracts. If you are contesting a will, bring medical records of the testator and any notes written by them to the meeting. If the attorney shared a questionnaire with you, remember to fill it out and bring it with you as well.

Before your initial consultation with a lawyer, make sure to jot down information related to the legal matter you want to discuss. Also, write down any question you have in a notepad and bring it to the meeting. Think about your goals and write them down as well if necessary.

During the consultation, be prepared to take notes.

Johnston & Associates offers top notch legal services to businesses and individuals in Santa Rosa. Our attorneys are known for their unparalleled ability to understand the unique legal needs of individuals and businesses and develop custom legal solutions to meet them. Johnston & Associates specializes in estate planning, wills and trusts, probate law, and more. To make a consultation with one of our attorneys, call 707-545-6542.