How to Prepare for Your First Legal Consultation 

legal consultation

We want our clients to get the most out of their initial meetings with our team. Navigating the legal system can be a daunting task, especially if you’re facing a new legal challenge. That’s why finding the right lawyer and building a strong relationship with them is so crucial. 

We reached out to Caravel’s Business Development and Client Happiness Teams to learn their tips, tricks and best practices for connecting with lawyers. Here’s how to prepare for your first legal consultation and find the right match for you and your business: 


Do Your Homework 

Before you walk into your legal consultation, it is always in your best interest to do your research. Learn as much as you can about the type of lawyer you need and the specific legal issue you’re facing. Familiarize yourself with your basic legal rights related to your issue. This will give you a starting point for your discussion with the lawyer and help you set reasonable expectations. 

Yes, lawyers are there to help and guide you, but it will save you time and money to enter into these conversations with a clear idea of your current predicament as well as your business and legal needs.  


Bring Necessary Documents 

Have any relevant documents on hand. Preparedness is always helpful for you and your lawyer.  This could include contracts, legal notices, photos, etc. The more information you can provide, the better. 

This will also help you keep the ball rolling. Bringing these materials to your legal consultation helps skip any back and forth or future delays.  


Be Honest and Open 

Transparency is key! Going into your first conversation, you should be prepared to provide context to the legal issue and share all important facts. Your lawyer should be a trusted advisor and they can only help you if they fully understand your situation. Don’t hold back on sharing the details of your circumstance. The more candid you are, the better, more informed advice your lawyer can provide. 

Even in initial meetings, confidentiality remains a key priority and judgement is left at the door. Your lawyer needs to understand the whole picture to understand if they can help you, you only do yourself a disservice by withholding.   


Ask Questions 

Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer questions. This is your chance to get clarity on the legal process, understand your potential options, and gauge their expertise. Remember, you’re not only looking for someone with legal knowledge, but an advisor who understands your business needs. 

The more you understand, the more confident you’ll feel moving forward. 


Be Prepared to Pivot 

While it’s important to come prepared and ask questions, it’s equally important to listen to your lawyer’s guidance – even if it looks different than what you initially anticipated.  

You may have a preliminary understanding of your circumstance and the direction you anticipate going, but your lawyer may provide you with valuable, alternative routes that are worth considering. At times this may mean shifting your plan and readjusting, but keep in mind that they are working in your best interest.  

While it is essential that you are both clear on your priorities and end goal, you may find that your lawyer has a different idea of how to get you there.  


Consider Your Comfort Level

You’re trusting this lawyer with a significant part of your life or business, so it’s crucial to feel comfortable with them. Take the time to ask questions, learn about their approach, and develop your working relationship and trust before tackling the big decisions. 


Consider Costs 

It is important that you know your budget and prepare accordingly for legal fees. Ask your lawyer about their fee structure, what services are included, and what you can expect to pay.  

You don’t want to be blindsided by the bill once it’s too late, transparency about fees is key. 


Set Realistic Expectations  

Initial meetings should be a productive jumping-off point for your matter but, in most cases, there will not be immediate answers. Your lawyer may need time to go through materials, arrange onboarding, or deal with other administrative points before providing their advice.  

It is always helpful to establish next steps and a general timeline with your lawyer. Solutions won’t come after just one call, but setting clear and realistic expectations for yourself will help ease your mind through the process.  


Caravel has a team of over 100 lawyers with a broad range of experience and expertise. Connect with our Client Happiness team today to learn more about our services and resources. 

  • Share:

Work with a law firm that gives your business the attention it deserves.

Contact us