This is an anxious time for you, or you would not be calling a lawyer. You are calling a lawyer, only because you have to. Therefore, you need to be able to figure out if the lawyer knows what they are doing, and if so, whether they can help you.
You are going to have to rely on this lawyer, so yes, you will need to develop some trust, and hopefully, some level of comfort, talking with this lawyer. Thus, the lawyer is going to ask you about the facts of your case, and you should be ready to answer his/her questions, even though they seem intrusive, or even irrelevant.
You also want to know about price and terms (is it hourly? How much? How much down, initially? Contingent fee, etc). However, you also want to know if you can work with this lawyer. In short, you are “feeling out” the situation, and indeed, the lawyer, to see if he/she is the one to hire.
However, you have to understand that the lawyer is also “feeling out” the situation, to see if they want to take you on as a client. Are the facts favorable to the client? Will the law be favorable to the client’s case, given the facts? Does the client come across as likable and credible? Will a jury like them?
Also, lawyers are business-people; this is how we support ourselves and our families. Is this case worthwhile, financially? Does it make sense for the lawyer to even take this matter on? Just as you will be relying on the lawyer, he/she will be relying on you. If it is a personal injury case on a percentage contingent fee, they will be relying on your case, to help them generate income.
Regardless of what kind of case it is, the lawyer will be relying on you, to be likable, credible and cooperative; as lawyers, we have enough conflict thrown our way by Prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges. Lawyers want to be as helpful as they can, but that becomes difficult when their own client seems uncooperative.
If all goes well in this call, one of two things is going to happen:
- Lawyer and client agree to set up an appointment, for further fact-gathering, and to sign up paperwork, or
- In certain types of cases (traffic ticket, drunk driving, criminal defense, etc) lawyer and client actually set up an attorney-client relationship, over the phone (a process aided by e-commerce, websites, and credit cards).