How to Get the Most Value from Your Next Legal Appointment
In law, often clients and their lawyers work together for months to see the desired outcome. A personal injury case takes many rounds of research, proof, and arguments to win a settlement. A criminal defense case can involve many meetings to build a strategy and ensure you are being treated fairly during the trial. Most law clients are acutely aware that every legal appointment is also counted in billable hours. Naturally, you want to make the most of the time with your lawyer to ensure you are getting the full value of your legal services.
Your legal appointments should be tightly focused on sharing information, building a strategy, and moving toward your legal goals. Anything that strays from that pattern is less than the best value for your time.
Here at Combs and Brown, we want you to get the most value from every legal appointment, it helps us to provide you the most value in every meeting. To that end, here are the strategies you can take to optimize the value of your next legal meetings and all legal meetings in the future.
Define Your Goals
Know what you want from your legal meeting. Know where you stand and the goals you are working toward. In a personal injury case, for example, your goal may be to prove that a venue’s walkway was uneven with no railing or to fight back against counter-accusations. In your next meeting, keep your top goal (or top three goals) in your mind, always at the top of your thoughts to ensure your conversation stays focused on those goals.
Keep your goals in mind as you take the next pre-appointment steps to optimize the value of your time.
Put Together the Paperwork
Many unnecessary billable hours come from lawyers digging up old records and paperwork that is relevant to the case. Your lawyer can acquire your medical records, but that may require a more billable hour on the chart. The more of the leg-work you can DIY, the more of your lawyer’s time on your case is focused solely on strategy and solutions instead of research and paperwork.
Go to your own personal portfolio of documents, then do the leg-work to collect documents and evidence about your case. This may be medical records and medical test results, mechanic’s vehicle reports, or your own elusive birth certificate. Build a complete folder of useful and possibly useful documents to save your lawyer’s time and your money in the near future.
Write Down Important Information to Share
Before your meeting, write down any important information you want to share with your lawyer. Developments of your situation, the information you’ve found, or recent communications that might be relevant, write them down. This ensures you’ll remember to mention them, even if your legal appointment is highly interesting and goes in another direction.
Write Down the Questions You Want to Ask
Next, write down the questions you want answers to. It’s helpful to collect legal questions between meetings and ask them all during your scheduled legal appointments. This allows you to ask your questions in a focused way with a chance to write down the answers.
Be Candid and Frank with Your Lawyer
Don’t beat around the bush with your lawyer. A lawyer deals in facts, evidence, and goals. Layout the facts and tell your lawyer about your goals for the situation. If you don’t understand something or don’t agree, speak out and settle the issue quickly. This will, in the end, save you time and money to neatly sidestep potential miscommunication.
Plan for the Next Legal Appointment
Work together with your lawyer to stay on-task during the legal appointment and at that time, make plans for your next appointment. Write down any documentation or paperwork your lawyer suggests you collect next. Write down questions you’ll need to research the answers to. And write down any advice your lawyer gives on how to reach your goals through actions today.
Ready to get the most value from your lawyer relationship and from your next legal appointment? Contact us today for focused, personable legal services focused on your needs and goals.