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Working with a lawyer or paralegal

Introduction

There are things you can do to save money, time and energy when working with your lawyer or paralegal and that will help your lawyer or paralegal to better understand your legal problem.

  • Before your first meeting with a legal representative, be prepared with the following information:
    • Names and contact information for any people involved with your legal problem or who know important information about your legal problem
    • Any documents that have to do with your legal problem
    • A chronology of events having to do with your legal problem - you will need to tell the lawyer or paralegal exactly what happened and when, so it is helpful to have this written down before you meet
    • Any questions you have - think about these before the meeting and write them down so you don't forget them
    • What you hope your lawyer or paralegal will be able to do for you
  • Remember that anything you tell your lawyer or paralegal is confidential. This means that the lawyer or paralegal will not tell anyone about what you have told them. The only time they are allowed to tell anyone about what you have told them is if you say you are planning to commit a crime in the future.
  • Your lawyer or paralegal will give you an honest and realistic assessment of your case according to the law, your chances of winning your case and how long the process will take. You may not like what the lawyer or paralegal has to say about your case.
  • Your lawyer or paralegal will give you advice about what to do about your legal problem, but you still have the choice whether or not to follow this advice. If you choose not to follow the advice, tell your lawyer or paralegal why you don't want to follow the advice provided - he or she can help you understand the reasons for the advice given and can discuss alternatives with you if necessary.
  • It is important to remember that you lawyer can only help you with your legal problems.
  • Don't expect to see or speak to your lawyer or paralegal without an appointment - he or she is very busy and may not be in the office or available to see you or speak to you immediately.

Learn more

  1. Decide if your legal problem relates to working with your lawyer or paralegal.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about working with your lawyer or paralegal.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on how to find a lawyer or paralegal and work with your lawyer or paralegal.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about working with your lawyer or paralegal.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites.

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DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009