Choosing a lawyer is of course a crucial step in the process. You should interview several lawyers, and you should ask them hard questions. Take notes, and feel free to bring a trusted friend or relative with you. But do be aware that the presence of a friend may negate the confidentiality of the meeting, so your friend may be asked to leave at certain points.
For the purpose of this chapter, just understand that it will take some time and commitment on your part to find one, and that this is not a decision to be made quickly. It is critical that you trust your lawyer, as you will have to be completely honest with him or her, and you should feel in your heart that you can expect the same back. That sort of relationship is not always easy to find, and you may not find it on the first try.
Meeting with your lawyer will not be a one-time event. Again, it is crucial that you trust your lawyer. It wouldn’t hurt if you actually liked the person as well, though that’s less important than trust. Most lawyers will make these meetings at your convenience as much as possible. It is not unusual for a lawyer to fly out of state, or even out of the country, to meet with a client, beneficiary, or family member. Many lawyers will actually prefer to meet at your home rather than their office, because in a wrongful death case, it is important for the lawyer to really get to know their client and the deceased, and meeting at your home can help with that process.