What is a Free 20-minute Consultation?
"Nowadays, most law firms offer free consultations or case assessments to the general public."
If you look to the right-hand side of this page, you'll see a contact form that allows you to request a free consultation with us. If you're on a mobile device, the consultation request form is probably below this text. But, if you fill it out or call us, do you know what to expect?
Nowadays, most law firms offer free consultations or case assessments to the general public. Many people do not know what to expect in such a meeting. We try to make it clear in our consultation request forms that the initial 20 minute meeting is a no-cost conversation about the central question: "What is going on that has you calling law firms?" We will not charge you for this meeting because, while you are interviewing us, we are also interviewing you.
Until this initial 20-minute conversation happens, it will be unclear to us:
- whether you have a case (or legal need);
- whether you need or want to hire us to represent you/do legal work for you;
- whether we think we can help you;
- what possible approaches to your legal matter exist from our perspective; and
- whether you can pay us to help you.
That is the purpose of the free consultation. If the answer to any of the above 5 questions is "no" or "none," we probably will not be able to help you. Sometimes, however, we can offer referrals to try to point you in the right direction. This could include, referrals to:
- other specialty law firms;
- pro bono/public interest law programs;
- attorney referral/search services that could help.
Please note that we are not your attorneys in a free consultation. We do not represent you, nor can we give legal advice in a free consultation. We will not establish an attorney-client relationship until both of us agree to, payment is made, and a fee agreement is signed. Please read the entire disclaimer in our Consultation Request & Agreement for a further understanding of the scope of the consultation.
What If I Want Legal Analysis and Advice Beyond the Free Consultation but Don't Want to Spend a Lot of Money? Enter: the Paid Consultation.
We wrote a FAQ Page on Fee Options that will answer this question more thoroughly. However, we do offer paid consultations if you want more thorough legal analysis on options and just need legal advice that goes more in-depth. This arrangement often involves some level of document review, contract analysis, or some kind of dispute analysis, plus a written memorandum from one of our attorneys discussing what the law says and what options you have. Some examples might be:
- review this contract another person or business wants me to sign and advise of legal risks/negotiation points;
- review this contact I drafted and tell me where it needs work;
- review this demand letter from another party and advise on options for response;
- review a dispute I have with another person/business and outline possible approaches for a demand letter or litigation;
- review my trial brief/motion/pleading and advise on potential problems or suggestions;
- answer my legal questions beyond the 20 minute initial consultation.
Paid consultations are typically billed at our hourly rate. Most can be accomplished with 1-5 hours of work. More complex issues may require more research and analysis. Expect us to either offer a flat fee or a low retainer to bill our hourly rates against.
Paid consultations are not for everyone. However, for some people and businesses, spending hundreds of dollars on a lawyer's advice right now can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars on losing that lawsuit or screwing up that business contract later.
Most people that try to DIY their own legal representation call us later on with deep regrets, and often, the situation can be beyond repair at that point. That's where the value of a paid consultation can really come into play.