After you realize you need to hire a lawyer, the next thought that likely crosses your mind is, “Can I afford this?” While it is an investment, depending on your case, hiring a lawyer is your best bet for success. That being said, there are often some things you can take on yourself to help limit your fees. Below are a few ways you might be able to assist your lawyer in the proceedings.
While you will have to, and should, rely on your lawyer to be the knowledge expert in your case, there may be certain matters that you can educate yourself on in order to push things forward a little quicker. For example, if there are simple tasks and paperwork you can complete and submit on your own, this cuts down on the hours billed by your representation. It can also be good to do some general reading around your case to educate yourself on terminology that will help discussions with your lawyer move along faster.
It can help move your case along if you are proactive in your outreach to your lawyer. If you know that your lawyer is going to require information from you for the next step, be ready with the information. Avoid any unnecessary delays by filling out and returning paperwork as soon as possible. Provide all documents in an organized fashion and read instructions carefully to make sure your lawyer doesn’t have to come back to you to get you to fill in something you’ve missed.
If you have items you know your lawyer is going to require for the proceedings, begin to organize it ahead of time. Make photocopies of important documents for your own records and file everything away for future reference, if required. The quicker you can provide all of the information to your lawyer, and the quicker it is for them to go through it, the quicker they can get on with your case!
While you likely have a lot of questions for your lawyer, resist the urge to contact them with every question that comes to mind. Instead, it is more efficient to write down your questions and ask them all while you are at a scheduled meeting with your lawyer, or at a debrief before or after proceedings. This way, some of your questions may have already been answered and you avoid getting charged for the extra time that it takes your lawyer to respond to all of your messages.
Be as proactive as you can in minimizing your legal fees by following these steps and assisting your lawyer along the way. Another beneficial way to reduce your legal expenses is to consult with a family lawyer acting as a legal coach on an hourly basis as needed versus full-service legal representation.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure a successful case is to work with your lawyer and provide them with everything they need as quick as possible. They are the experts and they will lead you in the process. To set yourself up for success, find yourself a defence lawyer you can count on.