How to have a conversation with a lawyer
1. Don't bring up your case
First rule of therapy: don't talk about your problems. Same with a lawyer. Don't start the conversation by talking about your case. Start by having a normal conversation and get to know each other. Lawyers are just people and we like to get to know people before we take their money. And if you have a case, then it's not really "yours" anyway since I would be working for the client (you). So let's get to know each other first.
2. Do small talk
Small talk is good for two reasons:a) it gets you comfortable talking to meb) it gives me clues about what interests you so I can steer the conversation in that direction. For instance, if you say, "I'm going camping this weekend," then I can say, "Oh yeah? What campsites do you like best?" And now we're off on a camping conversation which might be interesting to me and boring to you but hey - now I know more about what interests you and how I can engage with that interest later in the conversation.
3. Ask questions
The best way to learn anything is by asking questions. Like when my kids were young they'd say, "Dad, how does a car work?" And instead of telling them (which would be useless because they wouldn't remember), I'd ask them questions like, "What did you see when you looked at the engine?" Then they would tell me all the things they saw and then I could explain how all those parts worked together. Lawyers are good at asking questions so we can learn about your situation without taking sides or making guesses that are likely wrong (lawyers are bad at guessing).
4. Tell stories
Lawyers love stories because stories teach lessons that lawyers need in order to help their clients solve problems (or avoid problems in the future). Stories also entertain us so please do tell stories during our conversations!
5. Make connections for me!
Often times my clients will describe one problem but I need to understand all the interrelated problems in order to solve this one problem. If a friend has ever betrayed you or if your boss ever fired someone unjustly then don't assume i'll figure out why those situations are relevant here and perhaps even predict how this situation will turn out similarly. You have more information than anyone else so make sure i'm getting all of it so I can figure out what's really going on here and give advice based on reality instead of guessing based on irrelevant past experiences unrelated here . This takes practice but once you've had many conversations with lawyers over time ,you'll realize how important it is .
6. Be funny! Be interesting! Be engaging!
Lawyers spend most of our days reading legal documents or researching legal issues or interviewing witnesses or preparing arguments or arguing cases before judges and juries. We rarely have fun conversations with people who aren't lawyers or who aren't related to us (and even then sometimes not). So be fun! Interesting! Engaging! We want these qualities in our friends as well as our clients so show off these qualities during our meetings so we want YOU as a client rather than some other lawyer who doesn't make us laugh as much as you do..