I meet most prospective clients for the first time during a (typically) hour long confidential consultation at my office. Due to the personal nature of divorce work, I prefer to conduct in-person initial consultations, rather than by telephone or by fielding questions over email. I approach each initial consultation with several objectives to accomplish.
First, I want to get to know each prospective client’s background and current set of circumstances. I often ask many personal questions during the confidential, initial consultation. My objective is never to pry, but rather to try to get a very real sense of each prospective client’s personal situation.
Second, I want to answer each prospective client’s questions on the law and how the divorce process works. The initial consultation can often be an appropriate time to begin to consider appropriate goals to achieve and strategies to achieve those goals.
Finally, the initial consultation is an ideal way for the two of us to determine whether or not we might work well together during the divorce process, which can often be difficult, emotionally taxing, and life altering.
Unlike many divorce lawyers, I do not charge a fee for an initial consultation. I simply do not want a client to feel any financial incentive to retain my services due to an upfront consultation fee. Likewise, I want to feel free to decline representation of a client if I feel that another attorney might be better able to represent them. I have found that this small, initial investment of my time to be extremely productive in considering what cases and clients are the best fit for my practice.
I am a firm believer in discussing fees openly and transparently. In most cases, I bill for all legal services at the rate of $225 per hour. If an individual elects to retain my services to represent them, I generally require payment of an upfront deposit or retainer. The amount of the initial retainer will depend on the issues involved in a case, the complexities of the issues, and the amount of time potentially required to handle a case and will generally fall between $1,500 and $7,500. The retainer payment (minus the value of the work already performed) is fully refundable to the client at any time or at the conclusion at the case.
On occasion, I will handle a case for a prearranged “flat fee”. Generally speaking, a “flat fee” arrangement works best when the amount of work and time required to handle a case is relatively clear. Please feel free to ask questions about fees or fee arrangements at any time.
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