Hiring an attorney is quite similar to hiring a doctor. Just as your health is of immense priority, the right lawyer is an important asset to have as an individual. Finding a lawyer who is the right fit will require you to research reputable attorneys in Indianapolis.
Depending on the type of legal services you require, you could also check the referral program in your local bar association or ask friends and family for suggestions. When you do find a lawyer that appears to meet your requirements, an initial consultation will be scheduled.
Attorneys offer this first meeting not to provide legal solutions but to help determine whether they’d like to build a relationship with the client and vice versa.
As you expect, this first consultation is your chance to decide whether you’ve found the right lawyer for your legal needs. As such, you must come prepared. Here are some ideas that can help you prepare for your first meeting with an Indiana attorney.
Prepare all necessary documents.
Although the first meeting is more of an assessment of the attorney’s demeanor, approach, and level of experience, it’s best to prepare any documents you feel may be important.
This includes court papers, emails, birth or marriage certificates, and photos, as they relate to the matter for which you require legal assistance. Make copies of everything you intend to share with your lawyer and, if possible, fax or email them to the attorney’s office before the meeting.
Write down your questions.
Think of this as a fact-finding mission. Everything you can learn about the attorney will help you decide whether to hire them, so you must come with the right questions.
You want to know about the lawyer’s background and experience, his or her practice history in Indianapolis – to help you determine how familiar they are with the legal procedures and the local judges in the state.
Write whatever other questions you might have on a notepad, so you don’t forget them during the meeting.
Be honest about your situation.
Remember that whatever information you share with the attorney remains confidential. As such, be entirely honest about your circumstances, and don’t be hesitant to share any information, no matter how trivial it may seem.
Your attorney needs to have a clear image of the situation to formulate a clear plan of action, so honesty is the way to go.
Inquire about their strategy
After you have laid down all your cards, it’s necessary to ask the attorney about their proposed strategy for your case.
The strategy ought to include whatever procedures you’d be expected to undergo, how long the case will last, what approaches to take – do you go to trial or consider alternative means of dispute resolution – and whether or not a settlement would be in your best interests.
If the attorney’s strategy aligns with your interests, then you have a green light.
Be courteous and direct.
Conduct yourself courteously and respectfully throughout the meeting. To avoid any interruptions or distractions, switch off your mobile phone or turn the ringer off before showing up at the office. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions as long as they relate to the matter at hand.
Ask about the legal fees – the cost of a retainer, court fees, and other additional expenses.
At the end of the meeting, you’ll have decided whether or not the Indianapolis attorney is the right fit for you.