preparing for an interview with a lawyer


      The Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia has produced an impressive array of materials for litigants without lawyers, as part of its work “improving access to the justice system through public legal education.”  For example, in addition to the Court Tips Videos we wrote about last night, they’ve written a set of Guidebooks for Representing Yourself in Supreme Court

 podium One of the seventeen Guidebooks currently available has some very useful information that should help pro se or “in person” litigants on either side of our border (as well as the average legal client who has retained a lawyer and doesn’t want to waste valuable billable minutes).  It’s called A Guide to a Successful Interview with a Lawyer.  The Guide “describes four steps to take before you see a lawyer.”  It further explains:

“If you are receiving free legal advice, it is likely that your time with a lawyer will be limited. Generally, “pro bono” appointments are of thirty minute duration. Therefore, it is important that you have all of your pertinent information organized in a fashion that will allow you and your lawyer to make optimal use of this limited time.

“If you follow the four steps in this guide, you will be well prepared and know what to expect when you meet your lawyer. This will help you to make good use of your time and be in a better position to understand your rights.”

Here are the four steps covered in the Interview Guide:   

  • Step 1: Fill out the Information Sheet [a form is provided]
  • Step 2: Prepare your Document List [there’s a Document List form, too]
  • Step 3: Prepare your written statement [your story in chronological point form]
  • Step 4: Going to the interview [be “slow, straightforward, specific, and systematic“]

black check From my experience interviewing clients, I strongly agree with the Guide’s advice: “You need to give the lawyer both the good information and the bad information. . . . The more straightforward you are in the interview, the better advice the lawyer can give you.”

1 Comment

  1. questions » Blog Archive » preparing for an interview with a lawyer

    March 6, 2007 @ 6:16 pm


    […] Original post by david giacalone […]

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