Your Right to be listened to
The attorney may give you a questionnaire ahead of time. That should be filled in as best you can so the attorney can ask the right questions. However, your questions are just as important. Be prepared with questions for the initial consulation. No question is too simple or stupid and you should leave the consulation feeling like your questions were answered respectfully and completely.
Your right to an Honest assessment - This is your LIfe
Listen to the attorney as well. Not every situation can be resolved easily and there may be risks. Your attorney, no mattter how talented, is not a miracle worker and if the attorney tells you there is a risk to certain filings, it may be better to not file. However, there is nothing wrong with a second opinion and if you are not satisfied with the advice, no one will be offended if you seek a second opinion from another attorney. This is your life!
Your right to know the costs
Every attorney client relationship needs a fee contract so money should never be a surprise. If you know you cannot afford the services of the attorney, be up front. Many, if not most of us, take some cases on a free or low cost basis or offer payment plans. Ask about appeal costs if they will become necessary. Does the fee cover appearance at the interview? Ask if there are extra charges like federal express or copying charges. These can add up and a good attorney will be up front with this. You can negotiate fees but do so in a respectful manner.
Your right to confidentiality
Your attorney should not disclose information about your case to anyone else. This means that if you have your sister or brother or cousin call to find out what is going on with your case, the good attorney may refuse to tell them unless you have given advance permission to give out information and the caller can identify themselves to attorney satisfaction. Our office will not give out information to anyone except you without express permission. That is why we may ask a lot of questions when someone else calls on your behalf.
Your right to communication
You have the right to a response to phone calls or emails, especially for emergencies. However, you are not the attorney's only client and the attorney may be unavailable due to court or immigration appointments. Be patient and reasonable. On the other hand, you deserve a call or email back within 24 hours for non emergency matters. That initial call back may come from a paralegal. Understand that not every call can be taken by the attorney immediately. Ask the attorney at the initial consulation for their policies. Do they charge for calls? Do they have telephone hours set aside during the day? If you are not happy with the answers, this may not be the best attorney for you. Best to know this up front.