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What to expect during a consultation with a lawyer?

A consultation is an opportunity for you as the potential client to explain your legal situation and see if the attorney is able to handle your case. It is NOT for the attorney to review documentation, look over legal documents created by another attorney (like a trust), or review your divorce paperwork and tell you what to do. The reason for this is because the State Bar has very specific rules on what is considered representation and what is not. So, if the attorney gave you specific advice without being retained, and you misunderstand the advice and mess up your case you may have the right to sue your lawyer. The consultation is designed as a general conversation about the area of law that pertains to your case, and the ability of the attorney to handle that matter. In the consultation, the lawyer can talk about his/her strategy on how to handle your case. Further, you can ask about how the attorney will communicate with you regarding your case. Do you prefer phone calls, or emails? How often should you be updated? In a sense it is like a first date, you are getting to know each other to see if you want further interactions (in a professional sense, of course). Now, many services are offered virtually, and many lawyers offer free phone consultations. We recommend that you talk to a few lawyers until you find one that you are comfortable with and understands what matters to you in your case.


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