Why not a free consultation?

What do you mean you charge for an initial consultation? I thought all first meetings with lawyers are free. Here are some reasons to be thankful for paying that consult fee:

  1. The consultation fee is proof that you met with the attorney. If your spouse later tries to hire the attorney you consulted with you will have proof that the attorney has a conflict and cannot represent your spouse.
  2. The consultation fee shows intent to create an attorney-client relationship. You want your consultation to be protected by attorney-client privilege because this way all information you share remains confidential. This means that the lawyer cannot share anything you told him or her without your permission.
  3. You want a good lawyer. Be wary of the free consultations. The old adage that you get what you pay for still applies. If the lawyer charges a consultation fee for a divorce, custody, child support or other family law matter most likely the attorney specializes in this area of the law and will be more likely to take your case seriously.

For  more information be sure to check out our website at www.columbiafamilylawgroup.com.



Amy Salladay is a family law attorney with her practice focused on divorce, child custody, child support, adoptions, guardianships, and other family law matters. She assists families and children get through what is often the most difficult time of their lives in the most least intrusive way.

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3 comments on “Why not a free consultation?

  1. Interesting way of looking at things…I wonder how many lawyers who actually don’t charge a consultation fee, end up losing the client after the initial consultation. I figure it’s not many.

    • Thank you for your comment. What I didn’t mention in the article is that lawyer shopping is quite common in the divorce world so the answer to your question when we used to do free consultations is that there were many times the client didn’t retain because they went all over town meeting with lots of lawyers for free so that they could establish that there was a conflict and thus prevent his/her spouse from being able to hire any attorney in town at all. The other problem with free consultations is that many people can’t afford a lawyer at all–a free consultation is better than no legal advice at all so we spent lots of time doing free consultations and meeting people that could never afford to pay us to begin with. While helpful to the potential client not so hopeful to us when it came to serving our paying clients.

  2. This is my first time visit at here and i am really pleassant to read everthing at one place.

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2013 and is filed under Divorce, General. Written by: . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.