Once the decision has been made to seek legal representation, so begins the arduous task of choosing a lawyer whom you feel would offer the most beneficial support for your case.

It is during this time that the consultation process is the key to finding a qualified potential attorney.  By wisely making use of your initial appointment, the matter of selection becomes clearer.

Customarily, there are numerous questions that should be asked of any lawyer prior to retaining their services.  Of course, dependent on the nature of your case, these inquiries may be tailored in order for you to better gauge their familiarity in handling comparable proceedings.  Ensuring that you are thoroughly prepared prior to your consultation allows you to effectively assess compatibility with your would-be counsel.

Asking The Right Questions

Law is a vast landscape of distinct practices, each lawyer utilizing their own expertise so as to best serve their clients.  Consequently, to ask your lawyer the length of time they have been practicing in their field is essential in ascertaining whether or not they command an appropriate level of experience for your case.  Moreover, learning the number of cases that bear similarity to yours which your potential attorney has handled will further lend to their understanding of your case, and bolster the likelihood of a successful outcome.

As mentioned above, each instance is unique and inquiries can and should be customized to guarantee that any doubts you have are addressed.  If you were speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, for example, an important question to ask would be in regards to the probability of your case going to trial and its possible outcome should it occur.

However, if your situation was entirely different, for instance, consulting with a Toronto immigration lawyer your counsel should be able to draw upon their experience to determine the likelihood of your application's approval.  No immigration lawyer will ever have the ability to offer a full guarantee of success, but a proficient lawyer can certainly provide indispensable guidance along the path to permanent residency.

Legal Fees

Discussing fees can be undoubtedly intimidating, as there are often many costs associated with legal work unfamiliar to the general public.  Therein lies the very justification for reviewing legal fees at the outset.  Many attorneys require a retainer, to be paid up front prior to services commencing; others will charge an hourly rate.  Some demand a combination of the two.  Making yourself aware of any and all costs linked with your counsel's services is an imperative aspect of the initial consultation.

Taking Notes

The one universal recommendation is to take notes for yourself.  It is nearly impossible to retain every detail of a meeting, regardless of how short.  Recording the answers your potential counsel provides you with will offer the ability to recall vital information, contributing to the selection of the attorney who will most effectively represent your case.


The initial consultation is a time to guide you in making the right choice and finding the appropriate legal counsel to aid you in your legal crisis. A consultation will prepare you in making an informed decision knowing that you have the right lawyer for your particular situation representing you.

For more information, please visit:
Howard Yegendorf and Associates
Matthew Jeffery, Barrister and Solicitor