Your first meeting with a lawyer is like a blind date. You're not sure how the relationship will work, whether you want to go ahead; but you're willing to give it a try. In hiring a lawyer, you want to be sure that:
The lawyer also needs to consider whether or not to take your case. If he or she doesn't have the experience for the case, or the case doesn't justify the kind of fees that the lawyer would normally earn, or if the lawyer isn't
comfortable working with you, he or she wouldn't want to take the case.
- The lawyer can handle your case.
- The fees are reasonable, and you can afford them; and
- You are comfortable working with the lawyer.
Time Is Money
Many lawyers give an initial consultation of about 20 to 30 minutes at a reduced rate, or in some cases for free. If well planned, this can help both of you assess whether the relationship will work, and know what to expect from each other. if you don't think it's going to work,
then you don't need to hire that lawyer.
Exchange of Information
In the first meeting, there needs to be an exchange of information between the lawyer and you. You can expedite this three ways:
By taking these 3 steps, you can make the process of hiring a lawyer much more efficient, for both you and the lawyer.
- Do background research before the meeting:
- The law: Lawyers-BC has much fee information in different areas of law. By reading this before your meeting, you can save the time for specific discussions about your cases.
- The lawyer: If the lawyer has a profile with Lawyers-BC, you can review that profile. Ask the lawyer if he or she has a website, which you can review before your meeting.
- Fees: Check the Fees section in the Practice area on Lawyers-BC website, to get a range of what fees to expect, and how they are charged. This will give you perspective about your lawyer's fees.
- Written Background to your case
Most people read better than they hear. Lawyers are the same. If you can write down a summary of your case ahead of time, you can make sure that you give your lawyer all the details, so that he or she can make a better assessment of your case in a shorter period of time.
Different kinds of legal situations require different kinds of facts. For example, the information a lawyer needs to handle a divorce case is different from what is needed for an ICBC case, and different again from a house purchase.
Lawyers-BC has developed different "Backgrounders" for different practice areas; these will help you give the basic background to the lawyer to assess your case in your practice area.
- 20 Questions to Ask Your Lawyer
people don't know what to ask when they meet a lawyer. Sometimes they may feel its not appropriate to ask certain questions. Lawyers-BC has developed 20 questions to ask your lawyer at the first interview.