How To Make The Most Of A Free Legal Consultation

Oct 25, 2023 | Legal

If you find yourself at the center of a civil or criminal legal battle, the first thing you should do is consult with a lawyer. Besides the evidence and facts surrounding your case, having the right attorney by your side is arguably the single most important factor in determining the outcome. To emphasize this point, consider situations in which competent attorneys were able to help individuals escape serious legal situations, whether or not the individual was at fault, or alternatively, situations in which a weak attorney made matters worse for the client and resulted in the client losing their case, forfeiting large sums of money, or, in some cases, even going to prison. 

Your case’s outcome can swing dramatically one way or the other  depending on which lawyer you hire to represent you. The significance of hiring the right attorney for your case cannot be overstated!

A good place to start is to ask friends and family members for a recommendation or do an online search for attorneys in your area. The vast majority of law firms provide free initial consultations, giving you the opportunity to determine if their services are in line with your needs. When you have a shortlist of potential attorneys, it is time to get in touch with them by phone or in person to see if they are a good fit for you and your case. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to hire the best attorney for your case. To make the best decision, prepare for this meeting by doing your research ahead of time and understanding what to expect during your consultation.

What Is The Purpose Of An Initial Consultation?

The purpose of the initial consultation is to get a sense of how the lawyer will handle your case. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions and learn about the attorney and the services they offer. You should also take advantage of this time to determine whether you like the attorney and their staff and whether they are a good fit for you. 

Think of it as something akin to a job interview or speed dating: you have a short window of time to decide whether or not to hire the attorney for your case and/or schedule another meeting. But just like in the dating world, if you are interested in an attorney, that does not mean they will be interested in representing you. Consequently, it is critical to consider how you can present your case in a manner that is advantageous to both parties involved. You should keep in mind that it will be a free consultation, so you will only have less than 30 minutes to discuss everything, so make the most of it. 

Expect the lawyer to ask you questions about your case to help them understand the facts and circumstances involved. Your lawyer will also need to understand your goals and what you hope to accomplish with the case, as well as your expectations and concerns.  You should be ready to provide your attorney with a detailed account of the pertinent details of your case and anticipate that he or she will inquire about it in order to gain a deeper understanding. It is essential to be truthful with your attorney, and you have the right to expect the same.

It is never a good idea to conceal facts about your case from your attorney, since doing so will only increase complications and put your case at risk. Their role is to counsel you on how to handle your case, provide an honest assessment of your situation, and assist you in determining the most effective course of action, rather than pass judgment on you.  

What Should You Look For In A Personal Injury Lawyer? 

What should you be looking for in a personal injury lawyer? Well, that depends on what you want. In many ways, it’s a matter of personal preference, but much also depends on a variety of other factors. 

Some people might prefer a lawyer who is outgoing, while others like a lawyer who is more subdued. Some people like a lawyer who is aggressive, while others like a lawyer who is more compassionate, the same way some people prefer pitbulls to golden retrievers. A lot depends on the character of the lawyer and how you feel about them, but you should also consider their experience, their reputation, and the type of case you have to effectively evaluate whether they are the right fit for you. 

Although it is helpful if you have a good rapport with your lawyer, it is important to remember that this is not a requirement for hiring a competent attorney. While you may find one lawyer particularly offensive or intimidating, that does not mean they are not competent in their field. In fact, they may be the perfect lawyer for your situation. 

As a lawyer, assertiveness can be a significant asset, despite the fact that it is not always regarded as a desirable quality in general. Ask yourself which you would rather send into a room on your behalf to negotiate with an insurance adjuster or opposing counsel. If you are looking for an attorney, you probably want one who is not afraid to make waves and do whatever it takes to protect your interests, even if that means being a little confrontational sometimes. 

On the other hand, if you have a case that winds up going to trial, you might prefer a charismatic lawyer who possesses excellent communication skills, who can win a jury  over, or who is able to put them at ease and help portray you and your case in a favorable light. 

It is tempting to hire a lawyer based on how well you get along with him or her, but at the end of the day, it is more important to find someone who can get you the best possible result in your case, whether through a settlement or a court ruling.  

Legal Fees and Payment Options

Knowing the cost of legal services is crucial. The attorney will likely outline their pricing structure and payment choices during your free session.  Fee possibilities include hourly, flat, and contingency. 

With an hourly fee, the lawyer will charge you a set amount per hour. It is important to understand not only the hourly rate but also how many hours the lawyer expects to spend on your case and what the total cost will be. It is often difficult to estimate the total cost without knowing the number of hours the lawyer will spend working on your case. Depending on the attorney’s experience and the complexity of your situation, this number can vary from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

A flat fee is a set amount of money that the lawyer will charge for the entirety of your case. The advantage of this payment method is that you know exactly how much your case will cost, but the disadvantage is that this fee is usually required to be paid upfront.. 

A contingency fee is an agreement where the lawyer receives a percentage of the amount of your settlement or a court award. The percentage will vary depending on the lawyer, so it’s important to ask about this when you speak with potential lawyers. This also offers a good comparison point when evaluating different attorneys. 

Knowing fee structures and payment alternatives will help you choose an affordable attorney and payment plan. Attorneys may accept credit cards or payment plans. You must consider these choices throughout your appointment to guarantee you can afford legal services.

How do I make a decision and choose the right attorney?

After your free consultation, take some time to evaluate the experience and consider factors such as communication, experience, and cost. Reflect on whether the attorney’s approach aligns with your legal needs and if you feel confident in their ability to represent you effectively. Trust your instincts and choose the attorney who best fits your requirements. 

Before your consultation, write down questions to ask your lawyer.  You should also think about your goals and what you want to accomplish. Here is a list of questions to consider when speaking with potential attorneys:


  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • What is your experience in handling cases similar to mine?
  • Do you focus on a particular area of the law?
  • Have you achieved any notable successes or settlements in cases like mine?

Case Assessment:

  • What is your initial assessment of my case?
  • What are the potential strengths and weaknesses of my case?
  • What legal strategies do you recommend for my situation?
  • What are the potential outcomes or risks involved?

Communication and Availability:

  • How do you prefer to communicate with clients? (phone, email, in-person meetings)
  • How quickly can I expect a response to my inquiries?
  • Will you personally handle my case, or will it be delegated to other members of your team?

Legal Fees and Billing:

  • What is your fee structure? (hourly rate, contingency fee, flat fee)
  • Are there any additional costs or expenses I should be aware of?
  • Can you provide an estimate of the total cost for handling my case?
  • Do you offer any payment plans or alternative fee arrangements?

Case Management:

  • How do you typically approach cases like mine?
  • What is your strategy for negotiation, settlement, or litigation?
  • How long do you anticipate my case will take to resolve?
  • Will you keep me updated on the progress of my case?  

Remember, these are just suggested questions, and you should tailor them to your specific situation. It’s important to have a productive and open conversation with the attorney to ensure they are the right fit for your legal needs. Ultimately, a large part of an attorney’s job is to be persuasive. If they are unable to convince you of their ability to successfully represent you, they may not be the right fit for you. 

To Set Up A Free Legal Consultation, Call Ted Machi & Associates, P.C.

Are you in need of a personal injury lawyer due to an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness? If you’re searching for a Texas-based personal injury attorney, look no further than Ted Machi & Associates, P.C. Our team has a proven track record of successfully securing substantial compensation for our clients. With over 25 years of experience and unwavering dedication, we are here to listen to you and address any concerns or inquiries you may have. We will diligently gather all the necessary evidence and employ every possible strategy to ensure that you receive the rightful compensation you deserve! Take advantage of our free consultation today and start your path to financial recovery.  

Ted Machi & Associates, P.C.

Why Choose Us?

Free Consultations

Attorneys Have 20+ Years Of Legal Experience

Effective, Determined, Professional Representation

Call us

(817) 335-8880