Skip to content
Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Pay
  • News
  • The Initial Client-Lawyer Meeting: What Questions Should I Ask My Lawyer?

The Initial Client-Lawyer Meeting: What Questions Should I Ask My Lawyer?

The initial client-lawyer meeting_Hero

Everyone has been to the doctor and the dentist, and knows what to expect when visiting those offices.  However, for many people, their first time coming to Plakas Mannos is the very first time they have ever needed a lawyer. If this is your first experience with needing a lawyer, read on.  This blog will discuss what to expect meeting a lawyer for the first time, what questions you should ask, and how you can prepare in advance to make the meeting as productive as possible.  

What Happens at an Initial Meeting? 

There are a number of purposes of having an initial meeting or phone call.  These purposes include: 

  • Introducing the client and lawyer or legal team  
  • Discussing the case and issues in the case 
  • Discussing the client’s goals in coming to the lawyer  
  • Discussing the fee arrangement for the case 
  • Discussing the lawyer’s initial thoughts of the case  and strategy of the case  
  • Discussing the lawyer’s qualifications to handle the case  
  • Answering the client’s initial questions 
  • Determining whether the lawyer is a good fit for the case, and whether the case is a good fit for the lawyer 

Depending on the nature and complexity of the case, the initial client meeting can be very brief or as long as a couple hours. Also depending on the nature of the case, a fee agreement may be presented and signed at the initial client meeting or soon thereafter.

How can I prepare in advance

Who Should All be Present at the Initial Client Meeting? 

At a minimum, the client and lawyer will be present at the initial client meeting. Oftentimes, and depending on the nature of the dispute and size of the case, there may be multiple lawyers, a paralegal, or other law firm personnel at the initial meeting. Additionally, and especially for business cases, there may be other employees or company representatives who attend the new client meeting. Finally, where another attorney has referred the case to our firm to co-counsel, the referring attorney may also be present at the initial client meeting.  

What Questions Should I Ask My Lawyer About My Case? 

The new client meeting oftentimes is your first opportunity to ask the lawyer any questions you may have about your case. Questions you may want to ask include: 

  • Have you handled this type of case before? 
  • How long do you anticipate this case will take to complete? 
  • How do you charge me for your work done on this case? 
  • What will you do after I retain you? 

Because the initial client meeting is more of a discussion than an interview, don’t worry too much about remembering and asking every single one of your questions at this initial meeting. Our team will be available to answer your questions throughout the case.

How Can I Prepare in Advance for the Meeting with a Lawyer?

While advance preparation is not always necessary, in cases with any level of complexity, it can be helpful in ensuring that the meeting is as productive and efficient as possible. There are three primary forms of advance preparation that can be helpful.  

  1. Background Case Materials. It is oftentimes helpful if the client is able to have a timeline prepared in advance of the meeting, as well as having all pertinent documents compiled for the lawyer’s review. The more preparation you do on the front end the better prepared your lawyer will be from the outset.  
  2. Attorney/Law Firm Research. It may be helpful to have a basic understanding of your lawyer’s practice and background prior to the initial meeting. To learn more about your lawyer, you can utilize the law firm’s website, social media, and any publications authored by the lawyer.  
  3. Write Down Your Questions. One way to ensure that you don’t forget any questions you may want to ask is to write them down in advance of the new client meeting.

How will I know where to go Plakas Mannos law firm in Canton, Ohio

How Will I Know Where to Go?

Plakas Mannos’s staff will email you detailed parking and building entry instructions in advance of your initial meeting. We have covered garage parking with skywalks attached to both our Akron and Canton offices, so you don’t need to worry if the weather is less than ideal. We will of course validate your parking.

What Happens Next? 

During or shortly after the new client meeting, you will need to decide whether to retain the lawyer. Once retained, the lawyer will be able to start working on your case, and you will be able to work together towards achieving the goals discussed at the initial client meeting. 

Time to Set Up a Meeting with the Lawyers at Plakas Mannos  

If you’re nervous about meeting with a lawyer, hopefully, these tips can help. In fact, did you know that Plakas Mannos’s attorneys participate in initial client meetings with new clients every day? If you have a possible case or a legal issue that we can assist with, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Request a consultation

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you protect your rights and interests.

Contact Plakas Mannos