This article is part of our Anatomy of a Lawsuit series, where OKC Attorney Travis Charles Smith provides accurate information about the legal process in Oklahoma.
The Initial Consultation: Meeting the Client
I do not charge for initial consultations with prospective clients. If the case is one that interests me, then I want to learn more about it and if I can help the client. For this reason, I do not charge for consultations that deal with cases that interest me. If the potential client has a matter that is outside my area of practice, I do my best to find another lawyer who will be a good fit for that client and their legal issue.
Objective: Listen for the Story
During my consultations, I do not take many notes, at least not at first. My main priority is listening to the client’s story. I want to know what happened to them, who was responsible, and how they have been affected. I also want to begin to get to know the person. I want to know what they are ultimately after, and how I can help them. I am also interested in what type of person they are – do they have good character, are they trustworthy, etc.
So I listen to the potential client’s story, and I try to understand what they’ve been through, how they must feel, and how their life must be affected by this legal problem. If they have a case which interests me and which I believe I can prove to a judge or jury, then I inform them I would be pleased to represent them. I then discuss my fees and my overall thoughts of the case. If the client so desires, they can hire me right then and there, or they can sleep on it and call me back.
One I’ve been retained on the case, I then move on to the investigation phase.