Ideally when you hire a lawyer, you won’t have much to worry about as it’s their job to help guide you through your case and give you legal advice. However, there’s no harm in knowing a little bit about how best to work with your lawyer so that you can maximise the benefit that you get from them.
Each lawyer will work differently according to their own values and ethics whilst also making use of legal aids and support staff. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to law and you will need to be dynamic in how you engage with your lawyer so that you can get the best result for your case.
Let’s take a look at some general tips for working effectively with your lawyer.
Provide them with meaningful information
The first and most obvious piece of advice for engaging any form of consultant is to be upfront and honest with them about the most important information. The lawyer will be able to filter through and translate the information you give them into actionable legal measures.
You can make the lawyer’s job easier by thinking to yourself about what information is the most legally pertinent and to focus on that. This helps speed up the process of working with the lawyer as they won’t have to spend as much time filtering through what you have told them.
Also, make sure to keep hard and digital copies of the information you provide to your lawyer. This gives you some peace of mind knowing that you have a backup of everything and also enables you to study along with the lawyer.
Provide them with information they ask for
Even when you provide the lawyer with everything you think is relevant, they will likely still ask you for some other piece of information (such as a medical records or financial statements) that you have access to. If your lawyer requests any of these documents, make sure to get them as quickly as possible as many legal matters have strict deadlines and cumbersome bureaucratic processes.
Be responsive and punctual
In order to help your lawyer work efficiently on your case, you should make sure that you are available to answer their questions and are arriving on time to scheduled meetings. Whilst you aren’t expected to drop everything you’re doing to return the lawyer’s call, you should try to engage with them as much as possible as this will only help your case.
Ask them to explain things you don’t understand
Lawyers are legal experts, so you can rely on them to be able to explain all of the complex legal jargon and processes to you. They should be able to clearly explain what terms mean and what consequences they have for your case.
Trust their counsel
You’re paying your lawyer to provide you with legal counsel and to advocate on your behalf, so it doesn’t help to second guess their professional opinion regarding your case. Even if you’re unsure, it’s better to trust the advice of your lawyer rather than your own instincts as you are not a trained legal practitioner.
Ultimately, working effectively with your lawyer is about being honest and being responsive to their work style. It’s also about putting your trust in them that they will be able to adequately represent you and disseminate complex legal information.