So are you ready to talk to your lawyer? Here are five helpful tips to ensure a pleasant experience and (hopefully) a successful outcome.
1. Get organized
Try to create a clear, comprehensive story of your situation. For example, if it's an event-related incident (e.g. traffic ticket), you should make sure you write down everything that took place, from start to finish, in chronological order. Create a folder of relevant legal documents. Get a contact list of the witnesses on the scene. Just don't dump an overload of scattered information on your poor lawyer to sort out themselves.
2. Be detailed
Seemingly frivolous details like the weather may, at first, seem dismissible. But in the eyes of the law, every detail matters; every variable has the potential to help your case. And since your lawyer doesn't follow your every move (we certainly hope not!), it's your responsibility to be your lawyer's eyes and ears so they are looking at the whole (and most importantly, accurate) picture. Give specifics (names, dates, and exact incidents) and factual information to produce that crystal clear view.
3. Be honest
Plain and simple: Don't lie. Remember that you and your lawyer are on the same team. Your lawyer cannot share confidential information with anyone unless you give them permission to do so. When you start omitting relevant facts or adding fictitious information to your story, it'll only hurt you in the end. Be prepared to explain everything to your lawyer—the good and the bad. This will help them give you the right advice and guidance to ensure the best possible outcome.
4. Ask to clarify
If you find yourself confused by all the legal jargon you hear, that's okay. The law can get confusing, and this is not the time to guess at meanings or pretend to understand legalese. Just let your lawyer know, and they should do their best to explain things in layman's terms. Getting a clarification or two may go a long way toward putting your mind at ease—and help your lawyer do a better job of handling your case. It's both you and your lawyer's job to fully comprehend your legal situation.
5. Keep them informed
Things are bound to change. And when they do, it's imperative to update your lawyer. Each small detail or development can dramatically change your legal situation—for better or for worse. Some legal situations may take a longer time to resolve so it's best to keep in contact with your lawyer as new relevant updates pop up.
So what's the biggest takeaway? You don't have to go through this legal process yourself. We're right beside you, every step of the way. We have thousands of legal documents and forms to choose from to customize for your particular need. Once you've customized your document, you can craft a question for our network of Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorneys. The question will then be attached to the document you just completed—for reference and clarification.
You can ask the lawyer to review what you've done, elaborate on the right next steps, or even to simply alleviate your concerns, like "Is this the right document for my situation?" You'll get your answer within one business day and before you know it, you'll be on your way—with a completed legal document and newfound knowledge of how to talk to your lawyer.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.