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What to expect when meeting with a lawyer for the first time

6 minute read

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You may never have thought you’d need a lawyer, and understandably so. Most people will only ever need the services of a lawyer once in their life. But, if the unexpected happens for you or a loved one, you may need a legal expert to protect what matters and right wrong. Here’s how to prepare for a meeting with a lawyer.  

Why arrange a meeting with a lawyer? 

Most people may only meet with a lawyer for life’s ‘big events,’ such as buying a house, preparing your will or when going through a divorce. But if you or a loved one are injured, you may need to arrange a meeting with a lawyer to help you navigate the legal requirements and complexities of your claim.  Your claim may be, for example: 

How do you arrange a meeting with a lawyer for the first time? 

To arrange your first meeting with a lawyer at Shine Lawyers, here are the steps you would take for a personal injury claim:  

  1. Call us toll-free on 1800 560 651, arrange a live chat with our Client Care team online, use our free online booking tool for a free claim check or head into one of our locations across Australia  

  2. A Client Care team member will give you information to help you decide on your next step 

  3. Your next step may be arranging a confidential, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer (which our consultant can help you with) 

What is a meeting with a lawyer called? 

Your first meeting with a lawyer at Shine Lawyers is called an ‘initial consultation’. This initial consultation is confidential and free from obligation (which means you can decide whether to continue with Shine).

Your initial consultation with Shine Lawyers 

It’s normal to feel nervous when meeting with a lawyer for the first time. But there’s no need to be when meeting with our experienced team members at Shine Lawyers. At Shine Lawyers, your first meeting with a lawyer should bring you some clarity and more information about the legal options available to you. This might include: 

  • Whether you’re eligible to make a compensation claim for your injury 

  • The process for a compensation claim, which will depend on the circumstances of your injury 

  • The relevant law that applies to your claim (this can depend on your state or territory, and on the circumstances of your injury) 

  • Your payment options, which include our No Win, No Fee* payment option 

How to prepare for a meeting with a lawyer 

Here’s what you can do to prepare for a meeting with a lawyer:  

Be prepared to explain what happened to you 

Our solicitors are dedicated to listening to the details of your unique story, so when meeting with a lawyer for the first time, it’s important to clearly explain why you’re there. This can include: 

  • Your life prior to your injury 

  • What happened to you 

  • How your injury was caused 

  • Who was involved, including who may have witnessed your injury 

  • Details of your injury 

  • The treatment you have received 

  • How your life has been impacted by your injury (for example, have you been able to return to work?)   

Gather the documents to support your claim

These might include: 

  • Medical reports, records or correspondence with your doctor or allied health professionals (such as physiotherapists or psychologists) 

  • Proof of your income (such as tax returns or pay slips) 

  • Any correspondence with your employer for work cover insurer, if your claim is for workers’ compensation or dust diseases 

  • Records of text messages or emails (for example, to support a workplace sexual harassment claim) 

Your lawyer will take copies of the documentation you bring to the meeting. They can also determine what additional documentation you may need to support your claim. They will help you with this. These documents could include: 

  • Police or ambulance reports 

  • Witness statements 

  • CCTV camera footage of your accident 

If you’re unable to obtain these documents, your solicitor may also be able to help you with this. 

Consider where you can meet with a lawyer for the first time

Shine Lawyers has over 40 branches and over 1000 team members across Australia. Location is no barrier in arranging your first meeting with a lawyer.  If you’re more comfortable meeting somewhere other than in one of our offices, we can arrange:  

  • A meeting online 

  • A meeting by telephone call 

  • One of our experienced team members to meet with you in the comfort of your own home or in a cafe or local park 

  • An experienced team member to meet with you or your loved one in hospital or rehabilitation  

We can also work around your schedule and arrange to meet with you after your normal work hours.  

Can I bring a support person when meeting with a lawyer for the first time?

You are welcome to bring a support person with you to your first meeting with a lawyer – or any meeting after that. This may be your spouse or partner, a colleague, union representative or a trusted friend or family member.  

How long does a meeting with a lawyer take?

Your initial consultation with a lawyer will most likely take around an hour. Meetings after that can vary in length, depending on what you're discussing and the stage of your claim or whether you’re preparing to go to court. 

Your Shine Lawyers legal team will always let you know what meetings are for and how you can prepare for them. They’ll keep you updated, every step of the way. 

How much do lawyers charge?  

At your first meeting with a lawyer, our team member may advise you have a potential compensation claim for your injury. If this is the case, your lawyer will most likely offer you a ‘Legal Cost Agreement’ and explain the Agreement to you in detail so you understand. A ‘Legal Cost Agreement’ is a document that outlines:  

  • The estimated legal costs in preparing and running your claim (this includes fees charged by your legal team) 

  • The estimated outlays and disbursements involved in preparing and supporting (this could include the cost of expert medical reports, court filing fees, photocopying, travel costs for expert witnesses and barristers’ costs) 

You may choose to: 

  • Sign the Legal Cost Agreement at your first meeting with a lawyer 

  • Take the Agreement home to read through 

No Win, No Fee* 

Your legal team will also explain what No Win, No Fee* means in relation to your claim.  Our experienced team at Shine Lawyers can’t start acting on your behalf to protect what matters and right wrong, until they have received your signed Legal Cost Agreement.  

Even if you choose to sign the Agreement straight away, you have a few days to reflect on your meeting with a lawyer and ask any further questions. 

Shine Lawyers can help 

No matter what has happened to you, contact Shine Lawyers by phone or online to see if we can help with your claim. We’re here to help you right wrong and protect what matters. 

*Conditions apply


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