The average consumer that seeks out legal advice is often in crisis. I have made this list to help minimize the level of stress that is experienced in what is already an often challenging situation. Although occasionally people go to see a lawyer to plan for a bright future and plan for their family (e.g., prenuptial agreements, business contracts and leases, probate and estate planning, etc.), more often than not it begins from a source of stress. Whether you are that person that is coming to see a lawyer from a personal or professional crisis or victory, here is what I suggest to gain the most value out of your attorney client relationship:


  1. WRITE DOWN YOUR QUESTIONS. Many times people come to see a lawyer with all kinds of myths, notions, and feedback from many places and people. Write down your questions. Often by the time you meet or talk to your lawyer, you forget the questions you had. Do not tax your brain or emotions trying to remember your questions - write them down.
  2. TAKE NOTES WHEN YOU TALK TO YOUR ATTORNEY. Do not be afraid to take notes. Many situations when you are meeting with your lawyer are high stress situations, so reduce your stress by simply taking notes. One of the first things I do with my new clients is give them a pad of paper and suggest they take notes. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of intelligence and a tool to reduce your stress. It also lessens your likelihood of calling back to ask the same questions after you leave the attorney’s office or hang up the phone.
  3. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. You are paying for expertise. You have hired an expert because you do not know the law. Follow the advice. If you are not going to follow the advice of your lawyer, let them know so they can plan and respond accordingly. It makes everything simpler for everyone. 
  4. RESPOND TO ATTORNEY REQUESTS IMMEDIATELY. We know your legal matter is simply one aspect of your life. However, often time is of the essence when dealing with litigation. Therefore, when your lawyer calls, sends a letter, or emails you - respond immediately. 
  5. MAINTAIN YOU OWN FILE. Keep copies of all your records that you give to your attorney. Maintain your own file, it will give you a sense of what is happening and give you the power to have access to anything you may have questions about. Although your lawyer is the expert, it is your file and litigation that impacts your life. Therefore, make sure you maintain your own records and keep track of the progress of your case. 
  6. COME PREPARED WITH THE END IN MIND EVERY TIME. Every time you have a meeting or call with your attorney be clear about what you want to accomplish and make it known to the attorney. This will assist both of you in staying on target and accomplishing what you and the attorney set out to do. It will give you a sense of focus and a roadmap for any meeting or call. When I start my conversations with clients (even the short phone calls) I advise them of what we will accomplish and the purpose of my meeting or call. It gives direction and keeps everyone focused.
  7. DO NOT WORRY. In all these years of practicing as a lawyer, I tell people - you are paying me to worry for you. Worrying makes no difference for your quality of life, nor the outcome of your litigation - so just stop it! I know it is easier said than done, but practice. Worrying will not add a day to your life, a dollar to your bottom line, or change the result of your legal problem. So let go and let us - the experts - do what we do best and get the best outcome possible. 

These tips will help you save monies in your legal fees, cut down on a lot of repetition in information, and lower your level of stress. Life is too short, to let even the critical legal battles decrease your quality of life through stress and worry. Let us take care of matters for you. Follow these tips and it will help us, help you.