Contacting an attorney for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Most of our clients never thought they would need an attorney. Many are under a great deal of stress due to their family situation, including financial stress. It’s not surprising that one of the first questions we hear from people who contact Southpark Family Law is, “Do you offer a free consultation?”
The short answer to that question is “no.” But we think that when you understand why we don’t try to bring lots of clients in the door by advertising a “free consultation,” you will agree with our reasoning.
When you need to resolve a family legal matter, your attorney is your adviser, advocate, and guide. The attorney’s experience and skill are important, but it’s also critical that the attorney’s philosophy and approach are a good fit for your needs. You should never retain an attorney without feeling comfortable that you will be able to trust them to help you navigate the legal process. The initial consultation should help you and the attorney decide whether you would work well together.
At the outset of a divorce or other family law matter, you will probably have a lot of questions. So, naturally, getting answers will be your focus in the initial consultation. However, many attorneys who offer free consultations cannot devote the amount of time needed to give you guidance tailored to your situation. Their “free consultation” is often a sales pitch. You may leave the office frustrated, without the answers you were seeking, and without having had the opportunity to really get to know the attorney.
Also, imagine yourself as an existing client of an attorney who gives a lot of free consultations. If your attorney is spending all their time trying to get new business, when are they working on the case for which you are paying them?
At Southpark Family Law, our initial consultation is grounded in respect—for you, for your time and resources, and for your needs. When you contact our office you will receive a quick call back from a member of our team. We will ask you some initial questions to determine whether scheduling a face-to-face consultation makes sense for you.
If it does, we will set aside a dedicated block of time to spend talking with you. We charge a modest flat fee for these sessions to compensate our attorneys for their time. We are confident that the value you receive for your consultation fee will be worth the investment of your time and funds.
In the initial consultation, you will be able to tell your story, ask some of the pressing questions you have about your situation, and begin to explore your options. You will also be able to get to know the attorney and get a real sense of whether they, and our firm, are a good fit for your needs. You will have the opportunity to sign a retainer agreement if you feel confident that you want to work with us, but we encourage you to take as much time as you need to make that important decision.
Out of respect for our retained clients and our commitment to them, we limit the number of initial consultations we schedule each week so that we can devote as much time as needed to our existing obligations. Should you become our client, you can expect the same dedication to your needs, even as we make ourselves available to serve new clients.
If you have questions about our consultation process that were not answered here, or would like to schedule an initial consultation, we invite you to contact Southpark Family Law. We look forward to working with you!