Free Consultations Are Often Not Really Free and Not Really Consultations
Anyone who’s ever used “a try before you buy” knows that a “free consultation” are often not really free and not really consultations. You’re just getting a sales pitch disguised as a consultation. The same is true for many other products and services, from financial advisors to roofers. The so-called “consultation” is a way to get you in the door so the salesperson can give you their pitch. And in many cases, you’ll end up paying for it, even if you don’t buy anything.
In the legal world, free consultations are standard in worker’s compensation and personal injury cases. The attorney gets paid once the case is complete. That is a “contingency fee.” A contingent fee is an arrangement where the attorney’s fee is based on a percentage of the amount of money recovered from the opposing party. The attorney only gets paid if they win or collect money for you. Attorneys who practice personal injury and workers’ compensation always take the same side of the case- the injured person. They don’t take work from insurance companies, so they would never end up on the other side of the case from you. Their free consultation is actually a case evaluation. They are deciding whether to take your case. You often meet with a non-attorney intake person or a junior attorney. You don’t receive any legal advice or guidance.
Family law is different. Contingent fees are not permitted in family law cases because it creates a conflict of interest between the attorney and the client. The attorney would be more interested in recovering a large sum of money from the opposing party than in achieving a fair result for the client. It hinders reconciliation and settlement. Ethical family law attorneys are always looking for ways to fairly resolve the case, not create a hefty fee for themselves. For these reasons, contingent fees are not allowed in family law cases.
Many people who need legal assistance worry about the lawyer consultation cost. While it is true that lawyer consultations can be expensive, it is essential to remember that a consultation is not a sales event. During a consultation, a lawyer will review your case and advise you on how to proceed. They may also give you a plan on how to best move forward. Ultimately, the goal of a consultation is to help you understand your legal options and make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. While the cost of a consultation may be high, the value of experienced legal advice is priceless.
When seeking paid professional help, many people are worried about making the “wrong” decision and wasting time or money. However, paid consults can help you save time and money in the long run. First, a paid consult will get you a detailed action plan tailored to your situation. This can save you much time and energy that you would otherwise spend on research and trial-and-error.
Paid consults mean your attorney will be patient.
Complimentary consults are often very brief and lack the depth of a paid consultation. The attorney is not compensated for their time and may have other clients waiting. As a result, they may rush through the meeting and not provide comprehensive advice. A paid consultation, on the other hand, gives the attorney an incentive to spend more time with you and provide detailed guidance. Sometimes, this can save you money by helping you avoid costly mistakes. Therefore, it is worth considering a paid consultation instead of a free consultation if you need legal advice.
What if I meet with the attorney, and then the attorney takes my ex’s case?
If you meet with an attorney and then the attorney takes your ex’s case, it is called a conflict of interest. If the attorney received confidential information from you, they could not represent your ex. At Goff and Goff, once we have met with you, we will not meet with your ex, even if you don’t retain us.
So be wary of any offer for a free consultation- it’s usually just a dog and pony show designed to sell you something. A paid consultation is worth your time if you want valuable guidance and information.
So, think again if you’re considering a free consultation to help with your family law issues. It’s just not worth the hassle. Instead, call for a paid consultation and get good advice and a plan to move forward. You’ll be grateful you did.
Get the legal help you need. Contact Goff and Goff Attorneys today! 📞 (318) 255-1760 https://calendly.com/goffandgoffattorneys