Hiring a lawyer to help you out with a case can be expensive. Whether it's a matter of personal injury, financial woes or an insurance claim, seeking professional legal aid is almost always a costly option.
However, many lawyers, including local Ottawa lawyers, will offer free lawyer advice to those who ask. Most of the time lawyers will offer a few minutes or a quick phone call - but it can make the difference between a huge lawsuit or a quickly resolved case if you know how to use it.
Keep the following tips in mind to help you make the most out of any free lawyer advice you might be able to get from an Ottawa lawyer.
Prepare questions. The best way to take advantage of free lawyer advice is to have a solid plan of action for those few short minutes. Take some time to prepare a list of questions you want to ask before you get a lawyer on the phone. Ottawa lawyers don't have a lot of time as it is, so they will be very careful with how much time they spend speaking with you.
Keep in mind that there are certain things a lawyer cannot advise you of if you're not their client. Liability is a huge risk that lawyers take when giving out free legal advice, and they have to be careful about what they say. Do a little research to make a strong list of questions; each one should be direct and specific to get as much unique information as possible.
Budget your time. Remember, most Ottawa lawyers will only be able to give you a few minutes of their time to give you free lawyer advice, so make sure you budget your time wisely. If you feel like you aren't getting anywhere with your first few questions, move on. Try to ensure that the conversation doesn't deviate away from essential information about your case. Asking direct questions is the best way to do this. If you ask open-ended questions and leave room for long answers, you might not get as much advice as you'd like.
Follow up. If you're looking for free lawyer advice for your case, chances are you'll eventually need to hire a lawyer to help you out with the finer details. Following up with the same Ottawa lawyer that you spoke with for your free consultation can be a good way to start. Not only will the lawyer already be familiar with your case, but you'll know a bit about them, too.
While getting a little bit of free help before jumping into an expensive case can be a good idea, it's important to remember that free lawyer advice is just that: advice. There is no hard and fast legal direction going on during a free consultation, but it is definitely a good way to get a feel for things before actually hiring a lawyer to work on your case.