When you have a legal matter that needs to be dealt with, your first instinct may be to hop online and do some research. Or you may reach out to friends and family who have experienced similar issues.
However, it is important to understand that legal information is different from legal advice. Only licensed attorneys can provide legal advice.
Know Your Rights
As the old adage goes, “knowledge is power.” Knowing your rights helps you be prepared in case you come into contact with law enforcement or immigration officers. The NYCLU has a library of Know Your Rights materials to help New Yorkers understand their legal rights and how to react effectively if their rights are under threat.
For example, we provide information about how public students can legally wear ceremonial tribal regalia at graduation and about the right to vote with disabilities or language assistance, regardless of your immigration status. We also offer information on workplace discrimination and how to file a discrimination complaint.
The ABA Commission on Immigration produced the 45-minute “Know Your Rights” video to teach immigrants about their legal rights and what to expect as they navigate the immigration system. This video uses proven adult-education techniques to maximize comprehension and retention. It has been translated into Spanish and distributed to men and women in immigration detention centers nationwide.
Gather All the Relevant Information
The difference between legal information and legal advice is so important that many law firms or sole practitioner attorneys will include a disclaimer on their websites to make this point. While legal information can be provided by anyone, only a licensed attorney or judge can provide legal advice that uses specific laws and your particular circumstance to offer a solution or direction. Legal advice can also be given in the form of a written document or letter.
Get Everything in Writing
When it comes to legal matters, it is important to be completely honest with your lawyer. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Besides, being upfront can help your lawyer represent you more effectively. For example, if you are being sued, your lawyer will need to know all the relevant information regarding the situation. This will help them determine whether or not a lawsuit is necessary and what the best course of action would be.
You should also get everything in writing. This is especially important when it comes to verbal contracts or agreements. As the famous quote from Samuel Goldwyn goes, “Verbal contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.” It is better to be safe than sorry, and getting everything in writing can prevent any misunderstandings down the road.
Often, people seek out legal advice when they have questions about the law and are not sure how to proceed with their legal issues. They may need assistance with filing a lawsuit, dealing with a family issue, or understanding the legal process. There are a variety of resources available for individuals seeking legal advice, including online directories and low-cost non-profits. Additionally, the Internet is home to many discussion forums and communities dedicated to legal advice.
Regardless of the type of legal issue you are facing, it is helpful to have some general knowledge of your case before contacting a lawyer for help. This will ensure that your lawyer can answer your question efficiently and will not waste time on any unnecessary research. It is also important to understand the difference between legal information and legal advice. Legal information is simply a statement of the law without any additional application to your particular situation.
Be Honest with Your Lawyer
When it comes to legal advice, your attorney needs as much information as possible from you in order to provide the best service. While it is understandable that you may want to hold back some information, especially if it is embarrassing or private, this is not in your best interest. In fact, it could cost you the case in the long run. Keeping secrets from your lawyer can result in them taking the wrong course of action for your case. They will have to go back and rework the case from the beginning, which will ultimately take more time and money than it should.
Additionally, if your lawyer discovers that you were dishonest during your consultation with them, they will no longer be able to help you with your case. This is because they will no longer be able to trust you and may decide to withdraw from the case altogether. Regardless of the type of case you have, honesty is always the best policy.
In addition to being honest, you should also be transparent about your goals for your case with your lawyer. This will allow them to better tailor their advice to your needs and ensure that you are both on the same page moving forward. It is important to remember that an effective attorney-client relationship is a two-way street, and you must be willing to put in the work for it to be successful.
It is also important to understand the difference between legal information and legal advice. While legal information is generally useful in many situations, it may not apply to your specific situation. For example, if you are looking for general information about Mastercard match lists, it is likely that an online search or the website of your local law library will suffice. However, if you are seeking legal advice about your specific mastercard match list situation, it is important to consult an attorney.
The bottom line is that in order to get the most out of your attorney-client relationship, you must be both honest and transparent with them at all times. This will help them provide you with the best legal advice possible and ensure that your case has the highest chance of success.