There are many reasons why you might have to hire a lawyer. You may call on an attorney when things aren’t going your way, like in a divorce or if you have been charged with a crime. There are positive reasons to call a lawyer too! They can help you start a new business, adopt a child, and help you and your family prepare your estate, providing you with peace of mind.
No matter why you’re ready to pick up the phone and ask for help from a lawyer, it’s important to know how to make the most of your relationship. It can save you money, it can help you get the end result you want, and it simply makes working together more pleasant!
Prepare For Your Consultation
It’s not a good idea to call an attorney on the fly. It’s important to think through whether or not you really need an attorney, and if you do, exactly what you want from them.
Then, you have to prepare for your consultation. Follow the directions of your attorney, but there are some general things you can do to make sure that very first meeting goes well like:
- Be ready to discuss your background
- Prepare a list of questions to ask
- Assemble paperwork and documents
By preparing for your consultation, you can communicate your needs effectively. Your attorney can also determine the scope of your case, which will prevent misunderstandings and frustration down the road.
Thinking ahead doesn’t stop once you have prepared for your consultation. Planning ahead comes with many benefits that you will enjoy throughout the duration of your relationship.
Do you have paperwork that needs to be drawn up for a business partner? Maybe there has been an important development in your child custody case? No matter what it is, it’s never a good idea to leave telling your attorney until the last minute. Not only will it frustrate your lawyer, you also aren’t likely to get what you need in time.
For example, if you tell them about paperwork that needs to be drawn up by Monday morning on Friday, they’re likely to tell you no. It’s much better to plan ahead and keep your attorney in the loop way before you you need their help.
Follow Their Directions
There are going to be things your attorney wants you to do, and there are going to be things they are going to ask you not to do. Follow their directions, whatever they are!
There’s always a reason for every request. If you don’t do what they ask, you could find yourself in more trouble, and you could make their job a lot harder. If you have paperwork to sign, make sure you return it when they ask so you don’t find yourself in trouble with the court. If they ask you not to talk about your case on social media, it’s because they don’t want you to incriminate yourself. You’ll both be better off if you follow their directions!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Hard Questions
Some questions are easy to ask your attorney. Some aren’t. You may not have a problem asking them what structure is best for your business, but it may be more difficult to ask questions when creating an estate plan. It can be even more difficult to dig into the details of how much their services are likely to cost.
Find a way to ask hard questions that works for you. For example, if you don’t like talking on the phone, send the questions along in an email. You can also request an in-person meeting, if that would put your nerves at ease.
Be Polite and Understanding
This tip works for any professional or personal relationship, but it’s important to keep in mind when working with an attorney. You should always be polite and understanding.
Say please and thank you. If they are delayed filling out your paperwork, understand it’s because they’re busy and they are getting to it as soon as they can. Being polite and understanding creates a more positive relationship, you’ll enjoy working together more, and you’re more likely to get what you want when you want it.
Your personal and professional relationships are whatever you make them. That’s definitely the case when it comes to the relationship with your attorney. Follow the tips on this list and you can create a lifelong relationship with someone who can help you through many of life’s challenges.