What To Expect From A Free Legal Consultation
A free legal consultation may sound like an opportunity for you to gain legal advice without the need to hand over your hard-earned cash. Many attorneys do offer a free consultation, but that doesn't mean you will get free legal advice in the process. It may clarify whether the case is worth pursuing, but it won't give you the details you need to pursue it on your own. If you are considering filing a lawsuit but don't know if your claim is justified, a legal consultation may be a good place to start.
Why do attorneys offer a free consultation?
Attorneys offer a free consultation to provide them with an opportunity to assess your potential case and decide whether it is worth their time and effort to pursue. They may choose to refuse the case, refer it to another attorney, or to represent your case. The consultation is a way for them to gather initial information and make an informed decision about taking your case without committing to representing you. Part of the reason they offer free consultations is to acquire potential cases for their business.
Why doesn't the attorney offer advice?
Your attorney does not provide free legal advice for several reasons. First off, he is in the business of practicing law and has devoted his time and energy into earning the appropriate degrees and training to do so. Proving legal advice, and possibly representing you, is his livelihood. Like a doctor or the electrician, lawyers expect to be paid for their services. Giving away free services undermines their profession. You may be thinking that if an attorney has already allotted you his time, then he might as well offer free advice too, but there is another reason for his reluctance to share free legal information with you. Doing so may inadvertently create an attorney-client relationship even if he provides the advice for free. This could cause issues in the future for both of you.
What's in it for you?
The free consultation may provide you with a good idea about whether your case is worth pursuing. If the attorney refuses the case, he will likely give you general reasons for his refusal, such as the case is unlikely to be successful. While this may be his opinion based on the limited information provided, it can point you in the right direction. If the attorney thinks your case has merit, then he will likely provide you with a quote for representing you, which means you may gain legal representation from the free consultation. But that's not all you will gain from the consultation. It will also give you a chance to assess the attorney and get a sense of his personality and style to determine whether he is a good fit for you.
What happens if you can't afford his representation?
If you are in a position where paying for legal representation is a hardship for you, then a free legal consultation with an attorney may be a waste of your time. There are many organizations that provide free or low-cost legal advice and representation for those with low or no income. Check your local bar association and legal aid clinics for attorneys who do pro bono work.
If you are considering pursuing a legal case and are looking for the appropriate attorney to represent you, setting up an appointment for a free legal consultation may provide you with the information you need. However, if your goal is to obtain free legal advice because you cannot afford to pay an attorney, a free legal consultation may not meet your needs. Consider both your motives and expectations before you make that call. Then talk to a lawyer like Janet P. Welton, P.A. if you would like to set up a free legal consultation.