Try to plan ahead; don’t wait until the last minute.
Carefully consider whether your matter is appropriate for unbundling (refer to the FAQs here) and whether you are ready to unbundle (see the list of questions you should ask yourself here).
Ask lots of questions (see the list of questions you should ask your unbundled lawyer here)
Communicate fully and frequently.
Ensure that you have a detailed written retainer agreement in place that clearly sets out who is doing what.
Don’t make assumptions about who is doing what – if you are unsure, check it out.
Share all information and documents with your lawyer. Share those things that you find embarrassing or hurtful or shameful – otherwise they will come back to bite you.
Keep your lawyer informed of all new developments.
Ask for an initial comprehensive consultation session. This is intended to provide you with key information, answer your questions about the law and provide you with a clear roadmap.
Make sure you understand the pricing arrangement – what you will be charged for, when and how much.
If possible, pay as you go or use a flat fee arrangement.
If you are not happy with the services you receive, talk to your lawyer about it. You may be able to resolve any misunderstandings. If you continue to be dissatisfied and decide to end the relationship, review the retainer agreement and follow the “termination” provisions. You may want to consider renegotiating a full service retainer agreement or find another lawyer.
Be organized! Keep your papers in file folders labelled by topic.
Note all appointments in your calendar and be on time.