Consults – Intro
I do offer brief free initial consults on all seven days. These consults are now limited to 15 minutes. At that point, I will understand your issues (I have been practicing this area of law for 3 decades), and I will understand how to advise you. However, I do not work for free and do not give out free legal advice. I will now require a one-hour $450.00 retainer to continue.
Consults – You Get What You Pay For
I believe that every prospective client deserves an in-depth consultation personalized to his or her particular circumstances.
Unfortunately, offering consultations at no charge would result in such a volume of inquiries that I couldn’t devote the necessary time and attention to either prospective or current clients.
The old adage is true in this case: you really do get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a lawyer, chances are you have an urgent legal issue about which you have questions.
Consults – Fee
A lawyer offering a free consultation is not going to give you the answers or advice you really need. In most cases, a free consultation is meant to be informational: to tell you about your situation in general, not to give you specific advice about your case.
Doing so puts me at the risk by potentially creating an attorney-client relationship, and it offers me no benefit or protection. So the likelihood is that a free consultation will end in frustration and wasted time for both us. I have not had the time to get to know you or all the particulars of your circumstances.
This free advice could steer you very wrong and lead to legal outcomes that may take thousands of dollars and many years to reverse—if they are reversible at all.
Free consultations are a way for attorneys to get potential clients in the door to sell their services. But they are often a waste of time for prospective clients, who don’t get the advice they are seeking, and for attorneys, who may devote hours to free consultations before bringing in a paying client.
If time were unlimited, that might not be an issue. But, of course it is, which means that if an attorney is spending a lot of time giving free consultations, the clients who have already retained him or her might be getting short shrift. Imagine yourself, not in the position of someone who might get a free consultation, but as someone already paying an attorney. Do you want your lawyer to spend time drumming up business from someone else, or working on your case?
I am willing to forgo the clients we might be able to retain by offering free consultations in favor of being able to offer customized, timely, trustworthy service to the clients we already have.
We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee to allow prospective clients to get guidance that is meaningful to them at a fair rate and to have a chance to decide, at minimal risk, whether we are the right fit for each other.
Having said all of this, I will direct you to Avvo.com to find answers to your general questions. It is a superb source of information.