Convince the Lawyer
You come into an attorney's office and you have your story. You have to convince me that I want your case. If you're paying for my time by the hour, sure, that makes it more likely that I'll be interested. If this is a contingency case, you'll have to convince me of a few things: that your story is compelling, that you make a good witness, that the facts are on your side, that you have witnesses and documents, that you have real damages, that you have what it takes to see a case through.
Listen to my questions
At an initial meeting, I'm asking questions about your story. I'm also pointing out the legal elements we would have to prove and try to poke holes in your ability to meet those elements. What doesn't work is arguing about what's right, or how a judge would sympathize with you. Neither does seeing dollar signs.
Cases take time
If you need recovery immediately, you need to think about small claims. If you have a bigger case, please understand that we are looking at long time frames here.
Make your case a priority in your life
Lawyers say, 'dont work harder than your clients.' As a client, you should take the case seriously. If your life is too chaotic, you simply wont be able to work on your case like you should. You may need to make changes in your life or accept you won't be able to do the case.
Be prepared to negotiate and settle
I just had a mediation that settled, but the client refused to voice an opinion on what she needed to settle. She kept saying, whatever you think. Of course it's totally the client's call to make that decision. So work with your lawyer to really understand what your settlement posture is.