What is a free legal consultation? What can you talk about during a consultation with a lawyer? How do you choose a lawyer in Flagstaff, or anywhere in Arizona, for your legal issues? We offer this article as part of our series on Free Legal Consultations in Arizona. This article does not contain legal advice. These are tips and pointers on how to go about choosing the right lawyer or law firm for your legal issue in Flagstaff or any part of Northern Arizona. We are a regional law firm in Arizona.
1. What is your legal issue?
Practical tip from Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC: Don’t hire a law firm that claims to do everything. Choose a lawyer whose expertise fits your legal issue.
If you read any part of our website, you will see that we are Flagstaff’s criminal defense and personal injury law firm. If your legal issue is not criminal defense, and not personal injury, you should be looking for lawyers who specifically handle your type of issue. Why? Because lawyers may be trained in multiple areas of law, but those who are experts in particular areas are more likely to handle your issue efficiently and effectively. Would you hire a dentist to perform knee surgery? Of course not. So, read the law firm’s website. See what they do best. Don’t hire a law firm that claims to do everything. And call the right lawyer for your legal issue.
2. Is it really a free consultation?
Practical tip from Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC: Make sure it’s really free. And make sure it’s a consultation, not a sales pitch. There are two parts to that question. When speaking with a Flagstaff or Arizona lawyer, you should feel free to ask direct questions. Is your discussion really free of charge? The better question, however, is whether you are really getting a consultation. How quickly does the lawyer ask you for money? Does the lawyer share any information about the law, or simply speak in generalities? Does the lawyer seem to be approachable and knowledgeable?
When you first speak with a lawyer, you can assess whether you and the lawyer communicate effectively. Are you comfortable? Is the lawyer answering your questions? You can sense if the lawyer is rushing you, or not knowledgeable about the law pertaining to your legal issue. Feel free to ask the lawyer, at your convenience, about rates and costs. But before you shop around for the cheapest price, remember: you get what you pay for. An experienced, sophisticated, successful trial lawyer may be worth the price… and may just get you a better result than a cheaper lawyer.
That said, don’t overpay. Also, when consulting with a lawyer, except in rare circumstances, your discussion is confidential and privileged. That means you don’t have to withhold any facts. The lawyer will need to know what is going on in order to effectively help you. If a lawyer does not ask for your version of the facts, there may be something wrong. Make sure you get a true consultation. If you didn’t learn anything about Arizona law or your legal issue, then you didn’t get a consultation at all.
3. What’s the plan?
Practical tip from Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC: Watch out for the sales pitch. Go deeper than that. Learn about your legal issue. If a lawyer simply scares you, or tries to impress you by speaking highly of himself or herself, think about whether the lawyer has a real plan to help you. The first thing we do at Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC after a legal consultation is come up with a plan. How are we going to attack this case?
For an injured person, we immediately plan an investigation and collect medical records so that we have the ammunition to secure a meaningful settlement down the road. For criminal defense, we strategize with our clients based on numerous factors. If you leave a legal consultation feeling like there is no plan for your case, something is wrong.
Don’t just pay a lawyer and hope for the best. Make sure he or she has a plan or strategy that is specific to your legal issue and the variables surrounding it. A truly free legal consultation should leave you feeling better about your legal situation, not worse. You should be more knowledgeable about the law. And you should have a gut feeling on which lawyer is right for you.