The first thing to remember while meeting with your lawyer is that you both are on the same team – the same side of the table. Once this is established as a ground rule, there is a mutual understanding of trust, a great headstart to building a rapport and added value in your attorney-client relationship. The better the rapport, the stronger they’ll be able to represent you. But hey, you can’t always be fully prepared for everything right? Here are some tips that will help you communicate effectively with your lawyer:
1. Good Communication means Good Rapport:
If you’re a straight shooter, you and your lawyer will start off on a great foot if you both understand how the other operates. In order to have seamless and trustworthy communication with your lawyer, build a rapport with them. Be honest with them about everything. Ask questions about how they prefer staying in touch, and be flexible about it. Not only will this help you get in touch with them faster, but it will also set a standard in principle for your lawyer to develop a better attorney-client privilege – making room for confidential communication.
2. Be organized and keep them up to date:
Just like when you meet your doctor, they ask you a bunch of questions in order to understand your situation better and be able to help you. The more organized, crystal clear and comprehensive your answers, the better you will be guiding them into building a solid case for you. In order to do that, put everything down chronologically, from the beginning to the end. Make a contact list of the witnesses. And be prepared to provide them with any more documents if required. After all, you’re working together as a team.
3. Sharpen Your Senses:
As Pauline Oliveros says, “Listening is not the same as hearing and hearing is not the same as listening.”
Effective communication calls to action for even more effective listening. When your attorney is giving you legal advice, it is important to listen and not just hear. One of the ways to do that is to listen to your attorney with razor sharp focus and then summarize it back to them in order to establish that you both are on the same page. Having an excellent verbal understanding can make a world of a difference between whether or not you win your case.
3. Ask Away:
Let’s be honest, there can be a lot of legal jargon coming from your lawyer that may leave you stumped. But never be apprehensive to ask questions. Be mindful that your lawyer is there to help you and it’s not smart to guess what they’re saying. Asking your questions benefits you in two ways: one, it helps you