What should I bring the first time seeing a lawyer?

Your chequebook. Hahaha… but seriously.

For some people, seeing a lawyer for the first time can be daunting and make them nervous. Rest assured that most lawyers are human just like you. And like everyone else, their personalities and skill-sets vary. The lawyers are Coast to Coast Legal are inviting and friendly and you should not feel nervous or worried about meeting with us.

The first time you see a new lawyer you must bring with you photo identification: either your driver’s licence, 18+ card or passport (and ideally your driver’s licence and your passport). Verifying your identity is mandatory for all legal matters.

Lawyers also require money in their trust account prior to starting work on matters. Rest assured that the money in a law firm’s trust account is safe as a law firm may only use that money in accordance with your instructions or else face serious consequences. Trust accounts are audited by an independent auditor each year.

What else to bring will depend on the reason you’re seeing a lawyer in the first place. As a general rule, bring everything and let the lawyer decide what not to make copies of.

If you have a litigation matter you should, but don’t necessarily have to, bring a written version of your “story”. You will save time and money by doing this in advance. While the lawyer will talk to you about your matter and ask you questions you may not have considered, it will assist both you and the lawyer if you can provide typed copy of your initial instructions for the matter for your lawyer to expand on and refer back to.

You should also bring originals and copies of all relevant documents to your matter. Don’t worry if you don’t have copies as these can be made for you, but usually this will take more time which again means you may be facing more costs.

Try and think inside and outside of the box as to what documents will be required. If you need to prove a payment for example, bring copies of the bank statement showing the payment. Bring copies of all emails relevant to your matter (if any): preferably in .eml format on a USB stick. If you need to prove you had a phone conversation at a certain time or on a certain date, obtain your phone call records for that period.