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The Importance of Lawyer Interviews

Burdine & Brown Nov. 17, 2021

I had the opportunity to interview a sweet lady for a job injury sha had about 3 months ago. She hired someone other than me upon the recommendation of a friend.

When she arrived at that law office, she was interviewed NOT by the lawyer in the office but by a paralegal. Or, shall we say, someone who was “masquerading” as a paralegal. What she received as advice from that paralegal was bad advice. With no guidance from the lawyer, without even meeting the lawyer, she was told to quit working at the place where she got injured even though no doctor would certify that she could not perform all aspects of her job. The employer apparently even offered light duty work for this injured worker. A “cardinal sin”, meaning a big one, is when the lawyer is too busy to interview a new client who comes to the law office.

I like to say that if a new client is willing to drive to my law office in Suwanee, Georgia, I ought to be willing to interview that new person. It does not matter who referred the new injured person to me, whether it is a former satisfied client or whether it is Google, I need to be there, to sit and listen to this person, to ask all the right question. A failure to do so on the part of the lawyer (and this happens a lot in automobile accident cases) and job injury cases, is a really big mistake but it is all too common.

In fact, I see a lot of lawyers doing only a Zoom meeting with a new client and then sending the paperwork by DocuSign to sign the agreement. If you have been vaccinated or have gained natural immunity to the virus, you are welcomed to meet with me in person to discuss all aspects of your case.

In the case I mentioned above, the “paralegal” gave such bad advice (and the injured person took that advice). I could not represent this injured person. I could not re-do the bad advice. So sad.

As a consumer of legal advice, when you go to a lawyer’s office for your first interview, you need to ask in advance of you are going to meet with the attorney who will be handling your legal case. If the legal office has no intention for you to meet the lawyer, then either re-schedule or find another law office. If you are not considered important enough to be interviewed by the lawyer (sure, a paralegal/ assistant can sit in the interview and participate) then your case is not going to be paid much attention. Beware!