How can clients get the most out of their first consultation? And, afterwards, how can they help make sure they get the best value for their legal fees? I’m Anthony Moffatt, a lawyer at Labour Rights Law Office. In this video, I talk about three easy ways for clients to get the most out of their legal fees.
#1: Write to your lawyer about what you need help with and what’s happened
Lawyers are fast readers. We do it for a living. So usually the fastest way for us to understand what you’re asking, and what’s happened, is to write it down for us to read. First, write down what the issue is and what questions you want answered. Second, write down a chronology or “timeline” of what’s happened. In other words, write down all the important things that happened – starting at the beginning and moving to the present. Use dates, names, and places. Attach important documents, like employment contracts or settlement offers.
Try not to use legal terms to say what’s happened, or generalize. For example, don’t say someone was “harassing” you at work, or you were “discriminated” against. Instead, explain exactly what happened – again, using dates, names, and places.
#2: Let your lawyer take the lead
If you have a legal question, and you’ve explained everything as clearly as you can, a lawyer will almost always ask you more questions anyway. Sometimes, the lawyer’s questions may not seem relevant. Still, let the lawyer take the lead and answer the questions as directly as you can. If the lawyer’s asking you a question, it’s because he or she needs to know the answer in order to give you the best legal advice possible.
To save time, don’t talk about issues that the lawyer has already told you aren’t relevant. Lawyers are usually good at getting all the relevant information from a client when talking about a case. However, if you think that something’s relevant, but you haven’t been asked about it, you can always raise it with the lawyer after he or she has finished asking you questions.
#3: Before contacting your lawyer, think about whether email, phone, in-person, or web conferencing is best
You can always let the lawyer know how you’d like to communicate, whether it’s by email, phone, an in-person meeting, or web conference. So why not take advantage of this to get the most value for your time? Getting a written answer to your questions from a lawyer can be best, especially if your issue is complicated. That said, getting a written response from a lawyer generally costs more than getting advice over the phone. Writing takes more time for the lawyer than talking does.
A phone call’s also less expensive if you think you’ll have lots of follow-up questions for your lawyer because a quick phone call is usually faster than going back-and-forth many times over email. That said, emailing your lawyer with a question before asking him or her to call you is usually the best way of talking with your lawyer on the phone. If you do this, your lawyer can review any documents beforehand so he or she doesn’t have to follow-up with you.
Web conferences can be great ways of talking with a lawyer, especially if you need to talk about documents together. Programs like Zoom can allow you and your lawyer to do this without the travel time for either party. Labour Rights Law has embraced this sort of video conferencing technology for years because of the convenience it provides to clients and how often it helps their bottom line!
At Labour Rights Law, we pride ourselves on being approachable and helping clients from all walks of life. These are two of the reasons why we offer free, half-hour consultations to talk to clients and help them with their employment, labour, and human rights issues. Give us a call or contact us at the link below.DISCLAIMER: The content of this article, and this website generally, is not intended as legal advice and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. To provide legal advice on your problem, a lawyer must first understand your specific situation.
We offer free half-hour consultations in person at our Coquitlam office or virtually via software. To book a consultation, please give us a call toll-free 1 (877) 708-8350 or locally (604) 475-0041. You can also book your free consultation online here.