Making the Most of Your First Meeting
You may feel a great deal of anxiety when planning your first meeting with a potential attorney. This may, in fact, be your first-ever meeting with an attorney of any kind. But know that you should let those fears subside; whether you or your spouse have already filed for divorce or are planning to do so, your initial consultation is all about making you comfortable, answering your questions, and providing the necessary information to assist in accomplishing your goals. Here’s what you should know.
Know Your Information Will Be Confidential
When you make that first phone call to schedule your initial consultation with an attorney, you may be asked to provide basic identifying information to the staff member answering your telephone call. The identifying information you provide will be used to confirm whether a conflict of interest exists that would prevent the firm, or any representatives thereof, from speaking with you. If a conflict exists, the firm may inform you that they are simply unable to schedule a consultation. Once one of the parties in a matter has talked to a firm, that firm should not speak to the other party regarding the matter. For example, if your spouse calls a firm that you have already spoken to and requests a consultation, the firm should inform your spouse that they cannot schedule a consultation due to a conflict of interest.
All information shared with an attorney or staff during your communication, whether it be while scheduling your consultation, or during the consultation itself, will be kept confidential. You do not have to worry about anything you say being shared with anyone you know.
The Attorney’s Role
When you meet with the attorney, that attorney will likely do everything they can to ensure that you are comfortable in their office. They have worked with many clients on divorce cases and understand the sensitive nature of what you are going through. They may ask questions to learn more information as you share your story, but they will listen to you, explain things to you as clearly as they can, and will empathize with what you are feeling.
While an attorney should attempt to answer any and all inquiries you pose, it is important to remember that some questions cannot be fully and accurately answered without additional information or documentation. An attorney that cannot fully and accurately answer your inquiry at the time of your consultation should inform you of the same when providing their response.
The attorney may also outline how the legal process will work and what happens should you decide to retain their services. They may provide you with information to take home with you to help you in your decision.
What You Should Do
While you may be apprehensive about your meeting with the attorney, going into the consultation with an understanding of what to expect may make it seem less daunting. You should go into a consultation prepared to honestly and fully answer any questions the attorney may have for you. In addition, it is a smart idea to ask questions of the attorney, including questions about their experience handling divorce cases, their understanding of the law, expectations you have about your case, and any other questions that may aid you in your decision.
You may not be prepared to retain the attorney’s services the moment the consultation ends, and that is okay! Remember that part of the reason for a consultation is to get to know the attorney and gain as much information as possible before making your important decision. A good attorney understands that divorce can be difficult and should not pressure or bully you into retaining their services.
If you are interested in retaining the services of an attorney during an initial consultation, do not forget to inquire as to how their firm handles the process of retaining their services, how billing will work going forward, and what, if any, documentation needs to be completed before the attorney can begin work on your matter.
Scheduling a Consultation with a Cleveland Attorney
The first step in this entire process is to schedule the consultation itself. Though you may feel frightened about starting, going into your first meeting with this understanding can make it feel less intimidating. At Laubacher & Co., we understand that your divorce is an uncertain time filled with many emotions. We work to provide each person that steps in our office with an experience that leaves them feeling comfortable and encouraged to take the next steps.
To schedule your initial consultation, call us at (440) 336-8687 or visit us online.