How to prepare for your first online legal consultation?
Preparing for your first online legal consultation shouldn’t be different from what you’d do when meeting your lawyer. You’re probably going to get the same answers to your questions from the legal practitioner, which can be the basis to determine whether your case needs legal representation.
Since your meeting is via video, the basic requirements are an internet connection, a computer with camera, and good speakers. The next step is to find lawyers offering online legal services like BookLawyer and set an appropriate time for the initial meeting.
So, what should you include in the list of inquiries as you prepare for your first online legal consultation? Read on to find out.
1. Research First
Assuming you don’t know anything about law or the case, it’s best to research the internet to learn what lawyer options are available. Some lawyers practice specific laws like criminal or corporate law, which could differ from your case and may not be helpful.
You’ll be able to collect information that could be useful when formulating questions for your first online consultation meeting with a lawyer. Also, you’ll learn how the law firms operate or handle such cases.
However, understanding the internet or smart devices is crucial for a successful first-time consultation. Ensure you have the basic requirements as advised above.
2. Bring A Note Pad
The virtual meeting requires maximum attention, and it might be challenging to grasp everything discussed. Having a notepad might help jot down a few pointers as the lawyer advises on the case.
Luckily, you have the option of saving or recording the meeting since internet meeting platforms like Zoom allow video recording, and the host can send the file to participants for future reference.
3. List Your Questions
If you want to get the best out of your first online consultation, you must write down your points of concern relevant to your case. It simplifies the meeting agenda and helps the lawyer decipher what your topic is all about.
In addition, the lawyer might have to outline the frameworks as per the law and give you the best approach to your case. And since it’s your first encounter, you might want to further research the points discussed and ensure they match your desired outcome.
4. Control Your Emotions
Emotions have a way of distorting how you express yourself when you’re angry or nervous. You may come out too apprehensive for your lawyer, which may be misleading for the lawyers.
You might bring a relative or a close friend to help you with the online meeting in such situations. It helps narrate your case and comprehensively express your concerns. However, if you want a confidential meeting, you can arrange the virtual meeting without anyone joining apart from the lawyer.
5. Define Your Goals And Expected Outcome
Perhaps the most crucial part of your first consultation is defining your objective for the lawsuit. Having unclear goals will complicate the virtual meeting agenda, and the lawyer might decide to pull out from further talks.
Express your interests by explaining your desired outcome of the lawsuit and simplify things for your lawyer. Also, allow the lawyer to ask questions or give concerns about the legal matter you’re discussing.
6. Consolidate Documented Evidence
Legal representation relies heavily on the evidence presented before a court. You might want to collect helpful information relevant to your legal issue.
For instance, if you’re pushing for financial compensation from a personal injury claim, you must have receipts to prove the expenses you incurred on medical care. So, ensure you have documented proof as you prepare for your online consultation.
7. Question Lawyers’ Track Record
Since you’re yet to decide whether to hire a lawyer, you might want to review the law firm’s background. You’ll learn if they have experience handling such matters and the success rate as expected.
You can also read reviews from other happy clients who enjoyed the lawyer’s services. You can pick a few pointers to ask during the virtual meeting and ascertain the information provided on the website.
8. Cost Of Service
You’d rarely find lawyers charging consultation fees before opening your file. But knowing how much they charge for legal representation is crucial for your decision-making.
Have an open mind as you prepare for the meeting and expect questions concerning your budget from the lawyer. It helps to decide how much legal fees you’ll spend for representation by the law firm.
The first online legal consultation is a preliminary meeting with your lawyer to ascertain the ability to handle your case. You must prepare well and have a list of relevant questions to ask during the session. In addition, have an open mind since the lawyer will want to know more information about your case and advise accordingly. So, be honest and control your emotions as you express yourself. Ensure you have a stable internet connection and the smart devices are functioning.
Gabriel Lopez is a paralegal and guest contributor on several legal sites. He has a passion for making legal services accessible to the minorities and protected classes. He is a proud dad to three boys and enjoys baking and cooking with his wife.
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