Many Oakland county lawyers offer potential clients a new client consult. Unfortunately, people often lack understanding of what to should expect in a new client consult. They may be unhappy with its outcome. Learning what to expect as part of a new client consult can help all parties remain satisfied and get the biggest benefit out of the exchange.
The true purpose of a new client consultation
For both the client and the attorney, the true purpose of a new client consultation is to discuss the legal matter at hand. The client should come prepared to discuss the facts of the case. The attorney will be prepared to hear the details and apprise the client on relevant legal issues.
For example, a divorced parent seeking an attorney for custody modification agreements would come prepared to discuss custody issues at hand, such as child behavioral issues or problems with the current arrangement. The attorney would then explain what the client could expect in trying to renegotiate child custody agreements through the county court system.
It is not the purpose of the new client consultation for the attorney to offer free advice, so a client should not expect to leave the consultation with the matter resolved. Potential clients should expect an attorney to discuss state laws that apply to the situation, or lay out a potential course of action.
How clients can get the most out of a new client consultation
To get the biggest benefits from a consultation, a client should gather beforehand relevant materials, such as letters or physical copies of voice mail messages that are relevant to the matter at hand. Writing out a brief timeline can also help to keep the client focused during the consultation and allow the attorney to deliver the most relevant advice.
Additionally, clients should show up to the consultation on time, since arriving late curtails the amount of time that the attorney may have to discuss matters. The attorney should also take care to wrap up other business so that he or she can devote full attention to the potential client.
As the consultation wraps up, the lawyer should provide updated information regarding attorney's fees, legal contracts, and next steps. This will allow the potential client to determine whether he or she wants to hire the attorney for legal representation in the matter at hand.