Why do you charge a consultation fee to speak with a family law attorney?
There are three primary reasons that responsible law firms charge a fee for initial consultation: efficiency, quality, and liability.
HARDEN JACKSON LLC offers counsel for exclusively family law issues. Our reputation for customer service generates literally thousands of inquiries per year from potential clients seeking legal advice. The intent of charging a consultation fee is not to limit access to legal counsel, but to serve the best interests of our existing clients by ensuring the most efficient use of each attorney's time, as well as maintaining a consistent standard of quality service to our clients.
This standard would be diluted if, by offering numerous free consultations, our firm were to limit either the amount or quality of the service provided to our existing clients.
A consultation consists of much more than simply answering a couple of questions. It is a conversation that includes review of the facts of the matter, evaluation of whether it is prudent to create or continue a legal case, and a review of the best path forward for all involved, including the consulting attorney.
Whether they are paid for it or not, when attorneys offer formal legal advice they are undertaking risk. All attorneys pay liability insurance to protect them and their clients for this specific reason.
But what if I just have ONE question?
Without hearing all of the relevant facts around any particular set of circumstances, it is ethically impossible to provide a clear cut answer to one question isolated from those facts. HARDEN JACKSON is dedicated to providing sound, thorough advice that is specific to each person's situation. This includes taking the time necessary to hear all facts of the case, ask relevant questions, and offer advice that will allow prospective clients to understand the risks, the options, and the possible outcomes of moving forward with their case. What is provided in an initial consultation?
Your initial consultation will be assigned to an attorney of our firm (not an associate or paralegal) who will:
- Review information or documents provided about the case
- Discuss the case with you and provide answers to your questions
- Provide legal advice, strategies and options based on the information you provide that will allow you to make informed decisions moving forward.
What are the charges for an initial consultation at HARDEN JACKSON?
Our initial consultation fees vary, based primarily on the complexity of the circumstances involved. Every effort is made to keep the fee reasonable while still offering appropriate service and expertise. You will always be informed of the cost prior to a consultation being scheduled.
At HARDEN JACKSON, we want all of our clients to be satisfied with the fees charged relative to the services provided. It is appropriate and important to discuss fees with your prospective attorney during a consultation. You are entitled to an estimation of potential total costs related to your particular situation.
Of course, if, after initial consultation, you should decide not to retain one of our attorneys, you are under no legal obligation to proceed.