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Tips for Talking to an Attorney

Learn how to hire and work with an attorney to obtain the best legal representation.

  • Always be as honest and candid as possible about the facts of your case. The more your attorney knows, the more he or she can help you.
  • Ask questions if you don't understand something that your attorney mentions or explains to you.
  • Approach an attorney about your case as soon as you think you may need one. Not acting quickly may limit your legal rights and options.
  • Be proactive in finding out how your attorney expects to be compensated. Attorneys' fees and payment options vary. Make sure you understand what your fee agreement contains.
  • Be careful when bringing a third party to your legal counseling sessions. Attorney-client communications are confidential, and you can jeopardize the confidential nature of those communications by bringing a third party. Your attorney can explain these considerations in greater depth.
  • Bring any and all documents, letters, copies of e-mails, and other information related to your case to your first counseling session.
  • Check your prospective attorney's credentials and State Bar history. In California, check with the State Bar to ensure that your attorney is in good standing. You can also find an attorney by using the "Attorney Search" feature on the State Bar of California's home page.
  • Consider all the options your attorney presents. Not all may seem desirable at first, but take ample time to consider all of the choices and legal consequences your attorney presents.
  • Call ahead for an appointment. Attorneys seldom (if ever) see walk-in clients. This is largely so they can use your time wisely by making sure that they're prepared to discuss your case.

Questions?

Student Legal Services provides counseling on legal topics, education, and referrals for registered UCSD students. We can assist students with civil, criminal, and UCSD Conduct Code-related issues. For more information, contact Student Legal Services, (858) 534-4374.

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