Firstly, apologies to dentists!The title for this blog comes from a client who said to me at his first appointment “I was as scared booking this appointment as I was booking my check-up with my dentist”.Why?Solicitors are not scary. We do not ask to see your teeth and don’t wield a drill during a meeting.To help reveal the mystery (and dispel your fears) of your first appointment with a Solicitor, let me tell you what happens at a first appointment with me ……I will always greet you with a friendly smile, handshake and light conversation to make you feel at ease.There are then some formalities to deal with as I need to follow certain codes of conduct. I will need to see some identification to prove you are who you say you are and confirmation of where you live. I usually ask to see your passport or driving licence and a recent utility bill or bank statement.Once the formalities are over, it is then over to you to tell me your story ….Are you having problems with your marriage?Is your husband having an affair?Is your ex-wife refusing to let you see your children?Are you planning on living with your partner and want to find out how to protect your finances?Do you need to make a Will? Everyone should have one!and so on……I may ask some questions as you tell your story, but generally I will listen until you have finished. Some clients find it useful to just talk, whereas others prepare something in writing to give me or arrive armed with a set of questions. However you want to tell you story is perfectly fine with me.When you have told me your story I will undoubtedly have a few questions which may also lead to more questions from you.Once I have an idea of your needs, I will give you some initial advice and let you know what I would do to assist you, plus of course the costs involved in acting for you. If it is possible, I will offer you a fixed fee so that you know from the outset what you will pay and when.As with any first appointment with me, it is free (for 30 minutes) and there is no obligation to proceed. So, you are free to go away and think about what I have told you. Maybe discuss it with a friend or family member or just take some time to digest the information I have given you.If you do wish to go ahead at the first meeting, I will need to ask for some more detailed information. I may need to see certain documents such as your Marriage Certificate (if you want to get divorced) or your child’s Birth Certificate if you wish to change his/her surname.Meeting over – not scary at all!