“He who has himself for a lawyer has a fool for a client.”
In many, many cases, this is too true to be funny. There are so many excellent reasons to hire an attorney that it’s very easy to say you should always have a lawyer’s assistance for any legal case – but the fact of the matter is that some cases just aren’t worth it. You can’t afford to spend $1000 on a lawyer for a $100 case, after all!
On the other hand, some issues fairly scream for a lawyer’s help, regardless of the number of dollars involved. Child custody and child support, for example, are both extremely emotional matters with complex legal issues. Most people really need a lawyer’s expertise (even if they don’t get it) when considering the many issues and how they fit together. Almost all of us – yes, even lawyers – need the assistance of a good attorney to help us think clearly about things that make our hearts ache and our heads want to explode.
Of course without knowing the specifics of your case, I can’t tell if you really need a lawyer or not – but I won’t tell you hire a lawyer for a $100 case, and I won’t tell you $1500 is enough to cover a $20,000 divorce and child custody battle. (I know, right? But some people spend even more.)
I will tell you “Litigation is obscenely expensive.”
I will tell you if I honestly don’t think you really need a lawyer for your case.
I will tell you if I honestly do think you need a lawyer for your case.
I will tell you if I think you can’t afford what you’re telling me you want me to do – even though you probably won’t like it. You might fire me, but I’d rather get fired than watch you spend all your money getting half-way ready for a big fight, only to give up, because you can’t afford to finish, before we even get to trial.
I will never tell you to file bankruptcy without a lawyer. Even a “simple” bankruptcy is too complicated, and too much is at stake, to tackle without expert guidance.
Whatever kind of case you may have, I can handle the whole thing from start to finish – that’s the traditional model, and that’s what most people expect. On the other hand, I can provide you as much or as little assistance as you need. If you have a truly simple, uncontested divorce with no children, and you don’t need a lawyer and want to handle it yourself, I’ll tell you where to find the forms for free and wish you well.
A good lawyer does much more than find and fill out forms, however. A good lawyer is an investigator, a therapist, a researcher, an analyst, a strategist, a diplomat, and, finally, a warrior, ready for courtroom battle. You may need all of those skills, or only a few. If you just need some help with the paperwork, we can do that. Or, if you could handle the paperwork just fine, if only someone would help you find the right strategy – we can do that, too. I will work with you to create a plan to provide you with as much or as little assistance as you and your budget require.