Yesterday I made my first-ever trip to a client’s house for a meeting. I was well-prepared, in terms of office equipment and necessary technology, but it made me think about all the things I could have forgotten.
If you need to visit a client at home, here is what you should bring along.
Contact information and directions
Obvious necessities, but also the easiest to forget. Even if you bring your BlackBerry, you might not have your client’s address and phone number saved in an e-mail. Make sure you either have contact information saved in an e-mail, or bring a paper copy of that info. If you are a solo attorney, you cannot simply call the office secretary and ask her to give you that information.
Driving forty-five minutes and then realizing you do not have your client’s address is bad news. If you get lost, having your client’s phone number ensures that you can let them know you will be late.
If you use a smartphone, be sure to check out these apps for the road warrior attorney.
Charged laptop and power cord
You never know when you might need to generate a document. Make sure you bring a laptop with a full battery. Chances are, your client has running electricity, but the only available outlet might be in an awkward place. If your laptop is ready to rock, you should not have to worry about unplugging ten kitchen appliances in order to get to work.
Just to be safe, keep an extension cord in your trunk. It might sound silly, but using an extension cord is much easier than reaching behind the fridge to plug in your laptop.
Printer in a box
Fortunately, I did not need to print anything yesterday, but I almost did. If you make lots of house calls, it is worth investing in a printer that you can bring with you. Keep the original box—it has lots of styrofoam to make your printer safe and secure while in the trunk.
Admittedly, it can be a hassle to lug a printer with you. At the same time, it is much easier than driving back to the office or the nearest Kinkos in order to print something. You do not need to buy another pricey laserjet, just pickup something affordable, along with extra ink, in order to be prepared.