To get the most from your time with a lawyer, it is helpful to prepare in advance. This is especially true if you are using the Lawyer Referral Service to get 30-minutes of free legal advice.
To start, create a short description of your legal issue. Describe events (with dates) that led to you having a legal dispute. Be sure to list the supporting evidence you have. Do not go into too much detail. Focus on the key issues of the conflict. You should be able to describe your situation in less than 5 minutes. Your lawyer will ask questions if they need more specific information.
Next, prepare a list of questions for the lawyer. Do you understand your legal rights and options? What are the specific legal issues you need to know more about? What information will help you take the next step in the case? You should also discuss ways of resolving your dispute without going to court. Learn about your options to settle the dispute, without a trial. You might want to ask about the legal process your case might follow. You might want to ask for the lawyer’s legal opinion about your situation.
If you are a meeting a lawyer for the first time to decide if you will hire them, you will want to ask additional questions. You want to make sure that you and the lawyer are a good fit – treat it like a job interview. If the lawyer is not able to explain things in a way that you understand or if they keep interrupting you, it might not be the right fit. Be sure to ask about legal fees and expected costs from beginning to the end. It is also helpful to understand how long the lawyer expects that the legal process may take.