No-one chooses to spend time with a lawyer for fun.
For most of us, the first time we need to see a lawyer is because we have a problem which we can’t solve on our own. The problem might be caused by an accident, a marriage breakdown, or difficulties at work. You may have a business dilemma, or a financial mess that needs sorting out. All these scenarios can cause stress and worry, and often people put off seeing a lawyer until the situation is spiraling out of control.
In many respects, lawyers are like doctors. We can help you more quickly and effectively if you come to us when you first get sick, or in the case of a legal problem, when you first realise that you have a problem. If you consult a lawyer early, very often the matter can be resolved more quickly and cheaply than if it is already a long-standing issue.
The greatest fear for most people when consulting a lawyer is the potential cost.
We have all read horror stories in the media about clients having to sell their home to pay their lawyer’s bill.
It is important to realise that a lawyer cannot act on your behalf unless you specifically instruct them to do so, and if you make it clear that you are only making a preliminary enquiry, most lawyers will be happy to see you without charge for an initial interview, usually of about 30 to 60 minutes. If the lawyer you call first won’t provide this service, try another one.
It can be intimidating talking to a stranger about matters which may be very private and personal.
Most legal firms have male and female lawyers, and older and younger ones. Have a look at the firm’s on-line profile, and pick a lawyer with whom you think you will feel comfortable. Many clients are pleasantly surprised at how informal and relaxed lawyers are. Indeed, most of us chose this career because we want to help people in trouble, and we won’t be able to do that if we frighten you away at the first interview!
One final thing to remember if you are contemplating legal action is that laws exist for a reason, which is to provide protection and support for the community. If there is a legal solution to your problem, don’t be afraid to seek it out – this is your right as a citizen.