There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or so said popular press of the 1930s. The gimmick of the free lunch came from barrooms that offered free [incredibly salty, unhealthy] lunches but charged for libations. Free food that made you buy beer? See? You pay no matter what. A “free” family law consultation is never really free. Here’s why, from A to W (not many Z words in the law!).
A is For Attorney Fees
You could shop around in search of the attorney who offers premiums, freebies, coupons ($395 divorce?!), and the like. Think of the quality of the attorney who, so desperate to gain new business, resorts to these marketing gimmicks. You know that law firm is getting almost no repeat business. You have to wonder if, to them, quality is secondary to getting foot traffic.
Then consider the family law firm that has a history of providing impeccable service to its clients. The clients return, for every conceivable issue, confident in getting their money’s worth. That is the firm you want. That is the firm to spend money on, even if only for an initial consultation.
C is for Contingency
Family law is not litigated in the same way as, say, a slip-and-fall case. Family law seldom deals with insurance companies, those big-pocket businesses that can absorb the costly negligence of a client, even if it costs six figures in an award to an injured Virginian.
Family law often pits family member against family member, with a finite amount of money on either side for things like depositions, investigations, evidence gathering, and hearings. We bring this up because family law firms like The Firm For Men do not operate on contingencies since neither side is likely to take home some huge cash settlement funded by an insurance company.
Therefore, a family law firm establishes set fees for consultations, investigations, motions, and so on. These are sensible, modest, and predictable fees. Your attorney will explain the fee structure to you during your initial consultation.
F Really is for Free
Most men who contact us looking for a free consultation are simply looking for general information. Gathering almost free legal information is easier in our electronic age. You can access most law firms’ blog pages and absorb a lot of legal knowledge for the price of a little electricity from Dominion Energy. Some firms — ahem — even offer helpful guides and manuals, for free!
You can, of course, go Old School and skedaddle to the public library. There, you can find a lot of legal references, books, and perhaps a print edition of the Code of Virginia, all free to use.
We much prefer the electronic Code of Virginia, also available free online. At the same site, you can find Virginia’s Constitution, the Administrative Code, and a lot of other items to help you win bar bets and intimidate opposing parties in informal family law matters.
P is for Proper Path
A consultation with a family law attorney is not simply to move toward establishing an attorney-client relationship (though that is often one part). It also provides you, the client, with actions and steps along the proper path for your legal pursuit.
Suppose you are exploring divorce in Virginia. An initial consultation offers you the best of an experienced divorce attorney’s strategies, suggestions for proceeding, cautions to beware of, and ideas for getting through the process as painlessly as possible. This ensures you’re aware of your rights and that you know how to protect them.
Even if you do not retain a particular law firm, you leave that initial consultation far wiser and ready to take charge of your legal issue. That in itself has value.
T is for Twenty-Four
With only 24 hours in a day, no family law firm can hang out a “Free Consultation” sign and expect to see everyone who needs help. Besides, a day is really only 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59.9999522 seconds so we’ve already lost some milliseconds right there.
Joking aside, we cannot see every Virginia man who needs “free” advice on a legal matter, from divorce to separation to child custody to domestic violence. By asking for a small consultation fee, we and most reputable family law firms can separate the casual customers (the famed Lookie Loos) from those willing to put some money toward their legal matter.
W is for Worthy
Your case is worthy of attention from a true professional, not a strip-mall discount paralegal. Along with “no free lunch,” another adage says, “You get what you pay for.” Paying for worthwhile advice up front is worth far more than saving a few dollars and getting short-sighted or just not-very-good legal advice.
To get answers to all your questions, great and small, contact us at The Firm For Men, or telephone our family lawyers us at 757-383-9184. From attorney fees to warrants, we can help with family law matters from A to … well, at least W.