If you have never hired a lawyer, you might wonder about free attorney consultation. There are many law practices that provide such an incentive to their clients.
The cost of a lawyer consultation can be prohibitive. It can set you back between $100 to $400, depending on where you are. We’re not even counting specialized lawyers that can go into the thousands.
A free lawyer consultation can give you the right nudge you need for legal action. Even then, what comes with it?
Today, we’ll guide you through free lawyer advice. What do you get from a free legal consultation? What are the questions to ask a lawyer on your first consult?
Here’s what you need to know.
1. How Does Free Legal Consultation Work?
First, we need to dispel the myth of free legal consultation. Your first contact with a lawyer is likely an unpaid consult. It is, however, not “free” in the strictest sense of the word.
The first consult is a lawyer’s investment in a client. It’s their way to create a relationship with a potential client by providing free lawyer advice. It’s no free lunch for the client.
If you agree to continue, that first consult provides them a consistent source of income. If you don’t push through with your case, they move on. This is standard across the entire practice.
Even then, you’re not getting any type of bad advice with a free attorney consultation. Much like talking to an immigration lawyer online, you will still get the advice that you need.
2. What to Expect from Lawyers with Free Consultation?
So, what should you expect from lawyers with free consultation?
The first consultation is always an educational, introductory session with the client. It’s there for the lawyer to understand in-depth what’s the issue at hand. If they get the facts straight, they can help you better with proper advice.
Many people have the wrong idea that free consults mean they’re either shallow or limited to an hour or two. The free attorney consultation neither has a time limit nor stops at a basic understanding. The nature of the first consults is always exploratory in nature.
Attorneys don’t care how many hours for a session it will take for them to understand your case. They don’t care for the complexity of your case either. What’s important is they understand and can give you a good understanding of the law.
Your free lawyer advice affords you the flexibility to learn your proper legal course of action. It is in place to give you proper clarity to make an informed decision.
Both parties will expect honesty from each other. Once your lawyer understands your case, expect them to present a proper, objective assessment on the case.
3. What Not to Expect from Free Lawyer Advice
For your free legal consultation, there are things you should not expect from your lawyer.
For one, don’t expect specific interpretations of the law. All of that is under the lawyer’s paid consult. It won’t help you litigate your case, so don’t expect that either.
Much like any free service, you should understand that free lawyer advice is not “official” legal advice. Official legal advice needs comprehensive, multi-session study of the case and law concerned. It also needs a further study of the court procedure that comes after.
It’s up to you to continue or stop with the assessment that your attorney gives. Whether you want their services or not depends on your prerogative.
4. What Questions to Ask a Lawyer
In your free lawyer consultation, what are the questions to ask a lawyer? If you want to get the most from the session, here are the questions to ask the lawyer during a consultation.
What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of My Case?
You want to first ask the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Free lawyer advice from an expert in the field means they know the strengths of your case. You need to learn which points to highlight and which ones to not focus on.
During your free attorney consultation, you want to identify as many of the issues that may arise. You want to see if you can make your case airtight.
What Are My Chances of Winning My Case?
Lawyers can tell your chances of winning your case. It’s best to ask this early if you even have a chance of winning.
Uncomplicated cases are easy to assess, but a complicated case is a different matter altogether. Your lawyer would need some extra time to study your case if it has its complications, but they can give you a general idea.
How Much Will My Case Cost?
Much like any case, you need to be upfront with your lawyer. You need to know what kind of money you will need to invest in the legal proceedings.
Among the questions to ask a lawyer, it’s vital to know if you can afford the service in the first place. Sure, there are pro bono cases and lawyers who charge on how much you’ll get from the claim. Even then, you’d want to have enough of a budget to handle the case.
Having a general sense of fees and expenses is a good guide. The fees will multiply according to the attorney’s rate per hour. There are also other expenses like deposition fees, court filing fees, and fees for expert witnesses.
How Long Will My Case Last?
No lawyer can give you an exact time frame, but they can give you decent estimates. This will dictate a few things.
Case length can dictate how much you pay for the case. It can also dictate your resolution timetable, especially for cases with short statutes. This will help in the total decision-making you would have to do.
Using Your Free Lawyer Consultation to the Fullest
When it comes to your free lawyer consultation, knowing what to expect and what to ask is crucial. It can help you decide if you want to work with the specific lawyer. It can also give you the right idea on how to pursue your case.
If you’re looking for more legal guides and tips, explore our blog.