Are Lawyer Consultations Free?
When you purchase a product, it’s almost always a better experience when you receive a free sample first. Having the opportunity to try something before buying it gives you the chance to see not only if the product will meet your needs, but also if it will live up to the claims of the manufacturer or seller. The same applies when purchasing a service in that seeing how the service will benefit you can help you make the right choice as to where to spend your hard-earned dollar.
Unfortunately, while this model works well for physical products, sometimes service providers have a harder time translating the process since receiving a free sample may mean that you’ve already received the service itself in totality. For example, a doctor can’t provide a free sample of mending a broken bone as to do so would either resolve the issue at no cost or would leave you with a partially broken bone. Likewise, a tree trimming service can’t provide a free sample by only cutting down one limb as this would leave you with a partially trimmed tree, but to do otherwise would mean the tree trimmer would end up offering his or her services for free.
In the legal world, attorneys often solve this dilemma by providing consultations. A consultation is generally a meeting between an attorney and a potential client to review a legal matter and discuss what services the attorney could offer that would meet the needs of the client to remedy the problem. In some cases, an attorney will charge a fee for consulting with a potential client, but you may be wondering if attorneys provide free consultations.
Are Lawyer Consultations Free?
In many areas of legal practice, lawyers do provide free consultations, but this is not always the case. By and large, most free consultations are offered by attorneys who work based on contingency fees, meaning the attorney only gets paid if you win your case. These lawyers are often personal injury attorneys and legal professionals who specialize in similar practice areas, but this is not always the case, so it would be wise to discuss an attorney’s consulting fee or lack thereof prior to meeting with him or her.
Understanding the Scope of a Consultation
If you are offered a free consultation, you need to understand the scope of the meeting to ensure that your expectations are met. A free consultation with an attorney is usually meant to be a semi-informal meeting to discuss high-level topics. It is not meant to be a time to discuss legal strategy or to go into deep details about your case. This is not to say that you won’t be afforded the opportunity to talk about the details as the attorney will need to know some specifics. It is, however, to say that further discussions will give you the opportunity to talk more in detail about your case needs once you have a service agreement with an attorney.
Why Do Lawyers Offer Free Consultations?
Attorneys provide free consultations for several reasons, but the biggest reason is to ensure that the services provided are a good fit for the client’s needs. In fact, attorneys have an ethical obligation to serve a client’s best interest.
If you have a legal matter that will best be handled by a real estate lawyer or a corporate lawyer, you likely won’t receive the best value for your money by partnering with a divorce attorney. Perhaps the divorce attorney may be able to offer advice surrounding parts of your case and some forms of representation, but you will probably be better off working with a real estate lawyer or a corporate lawyer who specializes in their respective areas of the legal field.
Ultimately, however, you will not know this until you consult with an attorney first. A free consultation gives you the ability to discuss the specifics of your legal matter with an attorney who can tell you whether his or her services will be the right fit or not. Finding this information out through a free consultation will give you the chance to make an informed decision about how to proceed and hopefully get the outcome you desire without investing money into something that will not deliver returns.
Why Some Attorneys Do Not Provide Free Consultations
As stated, many attorneys provide free consultations as a benefit to potential clients, but some choose not to do so. This may be confusing since it seems like a free consultation is a win-win for both the attorney and the client; however, certain situations would make a free consultation difficult. For example, some cases may make a free consultation the same as providing the legal service itself.
This may be the case where a trust and wills lawyer consults on a case and tells a potential client the steps required to resolve an issue. The potential client could then take this information, handle the matter himself or herself, and the attorney will have just provided the service for free. This is not only a losing proposition for the attorney, but it could be detrimental to the client.
Even if the consultation offered enough information to allow the client to know the steps needed to resolve the issue, the client might not know the best ways to execute these steps. This could lead to the client receiving a bad experience in a legal matter when he or she could have received a much better outcome by allowing the trust and wills lawyer to handle the case in the first place.
Are There Benefits in Paying for a Consultation?
In life, you often get what you pay for, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to legal consultations. Attorneys are bound by ethical standards to provide a certain level of service any time they are acting in a professional capacity, and this includes when providing consulting services. As a result, a paid consultation does not mean that the service you receive will be “better,” but there may be some benefits to paying for a consultation.
When you pay for a consultation with an attorney, you may be provided with additional time to discuss your case, and you may also be given a chance to go into much greater detail about the specifics of your case. Some attorneys may also map out a strategy with you or provide multiple potential solutions as a part of your paid consultation service. This will differ from attorney to attorney, so your best bet would be to contact a law office you’re interested in working with and ask about the firm’s consulting policies and fees.
How to Find a Lawyer Who Offers Free Consultations
To find a lawyer who offers free consultations, the best way is to simply contact the office of the attorney you’re interested in and ask. This can be done over the phone in most cases, but you may receive faster results by using the Internet. These days, most attorneys have websites that advertise whether their offices provide free consultations, and some even have dedicated apps for smart devices that can be used to determine what services are provided.
You can also use search engines to look for keywords relating to attorneys in your region who may provide free consultations. For example, if you are searching for an attorney in the areas of Huntington New York or Cold Spring New York, you could search for “Huntington New York attorney free consultation” or “Cold Spring New York attorney free consultation.”
This will likely bring up a few results relating to attorneys in these areas who provide free consulting services but be aware that unless you specify the type of lawyer you’re searching for, you may get irrelevant results. As a result, you will want to include specific keywords like “real estate attorney” if you’re searching for an immigration lawyer who offers free consultations.
Finding Local Lawyers Who Offer Free Consultations
You might also consider searching for the type of lawyer you’re looking for and including “lawyer near me” in your query. For example, if you’re looking for a litigation lawyer in your local area, you could search for a “litigation lawyer near me” to take advantage of a search engine’s geo-location technology. If you have your location settings active, your computer or device will automatically send your location data to be factored into your search results when you include “lawyer near me.”
Here at the Law Office of Darren E. Sheehan, P.C., we are happy to provide you with a free consultation to discuss your legal matter. Give us a call or fill out our contact form on the website, and we will get back to you soon.