Take some ‘you’ time

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Prep for success before meeting with an attorney

Andrew Zucker, Special to Valley News

It’s go-time. You’ve decided it’s time to find an attorney. No more pushing things aside until there’s a better time. The truth is there’s never a better time than now. Sure, dragging your feet about contacting an attorney is easier than the effort of finding a good one you trust. We get it – and we don’t take it personally. Still, it’s important for you, your family and your way of life to begin those initial steps and set yourself up for success.

A good attorney will be happy to ease the burden down the road – that’s what they’re here for – but during that first meeting there are a few vital things you can do for yourself. Then, with your part accomplished, the way is paved for your attorney to take the reins. So, let’s say you’ve decided on an attorney and you’re preparing for your first consult. What things can you do to make the most of your meeting and prepare for success?

Bring and ask questions.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or rushed at your appointment with tons of things to cover. Make a list of questions on paper or on your phone beforehand to ask. A good attorney will take the time to answer each one, so you leave feeling taken care of and informed. Remember the saying, “There are no stupid questions?” It’s true. You shouldn’t end the consultation feeling more confused and unsure than ever. It includes discussing money and fees, which is a topic that leaves many people feeling uncomfortable and nervous.

Be honest and open.

You might feel embarrassed or stressed having to recount personal details or events. We want to stress you shouldn’t. It’s important that you relay anything relevant rather than hide it out of discomfort. We need to know and understand all the facts of your case to best help you. Remember that we’re here to help. We can’t provide the best service without your candor, which also means sharing anything even if you see it as small or insignificant. It may be noteworthy, and if it’s not, we want to know anyway to be sure.

Document everything.

It sounds tedious and annoying – and it can be. But law is heavily reliant on documentation. Keep a file of anything related to your matter: receipts, letters, emails, you name it. Early on, not only is it important for your attorney to have access to these items, but it will help you keep track and give you a sense of control. Even after you’ve given your attorney the go-ahead to take over and proceed, you should still keep records of anything pertaining to your case. Events can seem confusing down the line, and the documents will always be available for you to review at your own speed.

So, there’s just three major things to be prepared. Granted, they may seem a little unexciting and may not be an easy five-minute task on your already extensive to-do list. But they really are important when you prepare to meet with your attorney. A legal issue has the potential to be a dramatic and influential part of your life; it makes sense to take the right steps to success, so all that effort and stress isn’t wasted. If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right.

The Zucker Law Firm is located at 43434 Business Park Drive, in Temecula. For more information, call 951-699-2100 or visit http://www.TheZuckerLawFirm.com.