The Initial Consultation: The first step in hiring a lawyer

Hiring a lawyer can be a daunting task, especially when you’re under stress and emotions are involved. It’s important your lawyer understands your needs and wants and that you trust and respect your the person in charge of representing you. The initial consultation is an opportunity to get to know the lawyer and find a lawyer that is right for you and your family. Here are some of the things you’ll want to look for in a lawyer and law office:


See if there is a live person answering the phones. A law firm that uses a machine instead of a live person to answer their phones will not always be able to answer your questions. Law firms with a friendly and attentive receptionist will ensure prompt customer service.


Be sure to ask if there is a charge for the initial consultation. You do not want a fee to come as a surprise after your meeting. At many law firms, you may have to pay for the initial consultation with the lawyer; but don’t be afraid to do that, it can be an important and valuable choice in the future. Lawyers who offer free consultations don’t necessarily give free legal guidance.




Make sure you leave the consultation with a clear plan of action. Know what the next steps are and what you’ll need to do to ensure your financial and legal affairs are in place. Do not be afraid to ask questions during your initial consultation. Provide the lawyer with up to date and current information as it applies to your situation.


Take notes during the meeting. This can be a helpful tool if you easily forget things. The lawyer will discuss important information with you during the initial consultation and may suggest getting together certain documents or doing specific things. Having a list to refer to can help with this process. Also, grab a business card on the way out. The card should list the attorney’s phone number and email in case you need to reach him or her for any reason.


Schulz Stephenson Law represents clients regarding Family Law and Divorce in Carteret County, NC including Beaufort, Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Cape Carteret, and Emerald Isle as well as New Bern and other areas in Craven County, Pamlico County and surrounding areas. Contact us today for a consultation so we can discuss the next steps in making the litigation process as smooth as possible for you.

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