A Free Consultation typically refers to an initial consultation with a lawyer who does not charge for an initial consultation or meeting, but rather it is free.
What is Involved?
Many people seek attorneys who provide a free consultation. This may not always be a good approach. It depends on the purpose and content of the consultation.
People seeking the assistance of an attorney are expecting, or at least hoping, that this free consultation will provide them with information or substance. They are hoping for guidance to help them resolve their case, such as meaningful and actionable legal advice. If that were so then the free consultation may be worth pursuing.
Most hourly-fee attorney’s free consultations are actually more of a free quote. Instead of the attorney providing the prospective client with actionable legal advice, the attorney sizes up the case.
This is when the attorney determines how much the prospective client is able to pay and provides a quote. Often this really does not even amount to a quote. This is because lawyers who charge a retainer and an hourly rate do not tell you how many hours it will take to resolve your case.
Therefore they do not tell you how much the case will cost you. Rather, they require some type of retainer then you just have to keep paying them whatever amount they bill. Attorney typically bill clients every month or billing cycle. You essentially have to give them a blank check(s).
Contingency Attorney, Free Consultation
A Free Consultation from a contingency attorney has a much different purpose. When an attorney takes a case on contingency it is because the attorney thinks there will be some monetary payout or settlement.
The attorney is willing to work the case in exchange for a percentage of any payout or settlement. The attorney, therefore, has “skin in the game”, meaning they have a financial interest in your case.
Many contingency fee agreements actually involve the client assigning an interest in their case to the attorney. A Free Consultation with a contingency attorney basically is when the contingency attorney evaluates your case and determines how much work it will take to win the case as well as the likelihood of a monetary payout or settlement.
The contingency attorney uses this information to determine if he/she will take your case, and if so what percentage of any payout or settlement they will require the client to give them should they win.
Family Law Attorneys
Family Law Attorneys are not likely to take a case on a contingency basis because there is no settlement involve with most of these cases. Therefore, attorneys take family law cases on a retainer and hourly fee basis.
cases are more likely to retain an attorney that is paid a retainer and then on an hourly basis.
This article is for information purposes only. This is not intended to be or substitute for legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice.
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