Before you make your first call to a law firm, you will have worked out what type of legal matter you have. You would have had a look through some legal databases or your local law firms to see who does the kind of law that you have the problem with. You will also have narrowed down the particular lawyers at the law firm that do the area of law that you’ve got your problem with.
So you will not that not only does the law firm do the kind of law you need help with, but your will know who in the law firm does what you need. You would have had a little bit of a look at the lawyer on the website of the law firm, and had a look at them on LinkedIn. So at least you have an idea about who potentially you’re going to be seeing; the person, what they look like, what they stand for.
So you do all those things before even making the call.
Now, when you call a law firm, don’t expect to be able to get put through to a solicitor.
With some smaller firms, you may be able to speak to a solicitor straight away. However, there’s usually an intake process at a law firm. Just like you would have at a dental practice or a doctor surgery, you can’t get through to speak to the professional at those places either.
Your first appointment is usually the first time where you would speak to the lawyer, but even some firms have an intake officer that does the first appointment too.
They’ll each have their own way of doing things.
Keep in mind that the law firms are there to want to serve, and to help you. So they’re going to guide you through some kind of process, so let that happen.
Let them ask you the questions that need to be asked. They will determine whether the solicitor that you thought was going to be the one for you is actually the best one for you. They’ll also tell you whether the first appointment can be via Zoom, or phone, or whether you have to physically come in, or whether there’s some other process that they have.
You may get some initial information emailed or posted to you, so be prepared that they’ll ask you for that information to be able to send you some things ahead of time, and that will give you an idea about what you might need to bring to that first appointment.
The other thing that they will give you an idea of is cost. You shouldn’t be scared to ask how the firm charges, and what the fee will be for that first appointment.
Some firms will still do a first appointment free, but not all firms do. Usually the solicitor will tell you more about the legal fees in the first appointment.
If you can get some initial appointments for free, use those free appointments to assess the lawyers. Don’t try and get advice in a half-hour free appointment, because you’re not going to get very far. Use it to assess the communication style of the solicitor, ask questions about the process, not necessarily advice about your particular situation.
Allow them to guide you through the process. They are there to help. They want to serve. They want to help you with your problems, so let them do that.