I provide initial consultations for free because it’s the easiest way for you to find out if you want to hire me! I don’t want either one of us to feel “locked in” to this relationship before we’ve even met. I think you deserve the chance to meet me and learn what I can do for you, before I ask you to commit to hiring me; and I want the chance to meet you, and hear about your particular circumstances, before I agree to take your case.
Even though it’s free, the initial consultation may be the most valuable service I can provide for you. I’m going to explain the system to you, and ask you to explain your situation to me. I’m going to listen to your story and explain how your particular circumstances fit into the legal system, and what they system can do for you.
Of course I hope we will discover, during that free consultation, that your problem is one I can help solve, and that we like each other, and so you’ll hire me; but it’s also because I want you to know that I’m not going to nickel and dime you to death, charging you for every second I see your face or hear your voice on the phone. Yes, of course I charge for my time; I have to make a living, too; but I don’t have to charge every potential customer for every second! I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people and I’ve found I can do that best by including free consultations. Sometimes, after hearing the client’s story, I realize they don’t need to take the drastic action they’re considering; there’s another, less extreme way to address their problems. That’s happy news, and I’m delighted to deliver it – after all, lawyers are often the bearer of bad news; it’s nice to be able to deliver good news every once in a while!
If you do need a lawyer’s help, a free consultation gives us both the chance to meet one another and see if we want to work together.