[Ed: Originally published on Facebook.]
Yesterday, we talked about how to find a good lawyer. Today, I want to give you a couple of tips about how to handle the first meeting.
First of all, never forget that you are the “star of the show”. Meeting with a lawyer is no time to be modest – tell him your whole story, at whatever pace you feel comfortable. A good lawyer will be taking notes, listening a lot more than speaking, and only interrupting you to ask questions that help him sort out the story. If the lawyer has not scheduled a long enough meeting, schedule another meeting if you need it. You will learn later to be more efficient with the lawyer’s time, but early on, it’s worth it in the long run to take your time and make sure you tell your whole story. Don’t be shy, don’t lie, and don’t leave anything out.
Once you’ve done that, the lawyer should be able to explain the process to you in whatever detail you need. If you have questions, ask them, and don’t be shy. A good lawyer won’t judge you or get impatient and will want to be sure you have all the information you need. You can take notes if you want, and your lawyer may have some printed information for you if you need it. You can also ask him to email you a “recap” of your meeting.
You may be wondering if you need to bring anything to your first meeting. We’ll talk more about that tomorrow.