What is an Initial Legal Consultation?
An initial legal consultation with a law firm is a visit to their office in person, by telephone or Skype among other means of communication you can manage at the time. This meeting is a chance for the lawyer to gather all information pertaining to your case and for you to know them better.
The consultation is also meant to advise you on how the law applies to your situation and how it would be handled in court. You can also be advised on mediation, to settle the case depending on your current situation.Moreover, depending on the work needed for your case as well as its complexity, you will get to know the total cost of your legal case.
It does not matter what kind of lawyer you are looking for, initial legal consultation is always necessary no matter where you are from. For instance, if you are in Queensland or NSW, Australia you can check out Save U Legal | Low Cost Family & Criminal law in Tweed Heads, NSW, depending on your case, before opting for an initial consultation.
As for now here is what to expect during an initial legal consultation with any law firm, in any part of the world.
1. Expect the attorney to evaluate your case
The initial legal consultation with any law firm, allows the attorney to learn your case inch by inch. Depending on your situation, the attorney will evaluate if they can actually help you. Therefore, be sure to carry all documents from files to photos, pertaining to your case. You can also share witnesses that can help your case.
Every case has its own obligations that you must meet, and only a qualified attorney can help you determine if you have a case or not. For instance, if you want to pursue a civil case, you will have to meet all the criteria needed for a lawsuit and this can be determined at the initial consultation. Of course, if you do not meet these conditions, the meeting is likely to conclude there and then.
Nonetheless, if you have a case, the lawyer will give you an idea of what to expect with it. They will also give you options in pursuing your case like out of court settlements, mediation among other options available. It will be up to you to decide how you want to proceed, once the attorney agrees to take your case.
However, you should take note that every type of case is handled differently be it estate planning, criminal or family law and thus the need for the initial legal consultation.
2. Fees and costs
Lawyers often bill in three different ways, hourly fees, contingency fees and flat fees depending on the case.However, some types of cases can involve a combination of all three billing methods.
- Hourly fee billing
For hourly fees billing, you negotiate the price per hour with your attorney. You might also be required to pay a retainer up front. This is to cover the necessary cost needed to start your cases like travel costs, mailings, paralegal work, court filing fees and fees for processing servers.
Hourly fee billings are often used in contested divorce cases where the disputes are about spousal and child support, marital assets, child custody as well as parenting time. You can also be billed hourly in civil litigation and criminal matters, where the court appearances are many and there are constant research and writing as well as motion practice.
- Flat fee billing
Flat fee billing often applies to an uncontested divorce, the drafting of trust and estate documents like wills, healthcare proxies, living wills, powers of attorney as well as real estate transactions. This is because with such cases the lawyer can easily determine the time and resources needed to complete the work.
- Contingency fee billing
With this type of billing, you pay little or no out-of-pocket costs. The lawyer will seek an award for the damages, withhis fees constituting a pre-arranged percentage of that award. This type of billing is prohibited in divorce cases but is ideal for personal injury lawyers.
3. Attorney evaluation
Your initial legal consultation is also the perfect time to evaluate your attorney. This is important because you might end up sharing a lot and even working for long. Therefore, you need to know your lawyer very well and be able to trust them and talk comfortably.
Evaluating your lawyer before hiring makes it easier to know if they would have your best interests at heart. Though this can be hard within just a day, you can still pay attention to any doubts you have about them.
Besides, there are loads of lawyers you can work with, so do not feel as if you are constricted to hiring just one.