In Preparation for your Initial Consultation
Our initial consultation is much more than a “meet and greet”, or a marketing pitch. Rather, it is the intent of our family law attorneys to learn the material facts of your case, to answer your questions, and to provide you with expert feedback regarding your specific questions and goals. It is our intent to provide you with an initial game plan and options on how best to proceed forward with your case.
(See our tips on saving fees and getting the most out of your representation.)
Being involved in a family law or divorce case can be very intimidating to people that are not familiar with the court system and the legal process. With that being said, below are some recommended steps and information to help you prepare for your initial consultation:
- Intake Form – We will provide you with an initial intake form prior to your consultation. We ask that this be completed ahead of time in order to use your time with the attorney more efficiently. If it is not already completed through RightSignature, we ask that you arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of your appointment time to ensure time to complete the form.*If you have a telephonic consultation, you will need to submit at least the last page with signature in order to proceed with your consultation. You can complete this through RightSignature or print, sign and fax or email the form. Our office manager Carolyn will help you with this process when you schedule your consultation.
- Outline – We have found it very helpful to potential clients to write a time line or outline detailing the relevant facts of your case. If it is a divorce case, this includes a list of assets and debts to the best of your knowledge. Also, feel free to bring copies of tax returns and other financial documents that you feel may be relevant to your case. You may also want to outline questions that you want to ask the attorney in advance. It is our goal to answer all of your questions to the best of our ability during the initial consultation, to identify the additional information and documents that we need to obtain, and to provide you with a recommended game plan on how to proceed forward.
- Legal Documents – If you have them easily accessible, please bring any documents that have already been filed with the court in your case. Such will be helpful to the attorney to review in order to assess the current status of your case.
- Take Notes – We recommend that you take notes during your consultation in regards to the advice given by the attorney.
- Confidentiality – Everything discussed with the attorney, as well as any of our staff is confidential. No one is allowed to discuss confidential information with anybody else without your permission. [Note: There are certain ethical rules and exceptions that may apply if a person intends to commit a crime, is engaging in fraudulent conduct, etc.].
- Fees/Costs – The consultation is not free, unless you ultimately retain the firm on a Full Scope retainer basis. If you retain the firm during your initial consultation, the consultation fee is waived. If you retain the firm later, you will still receive credit (i.e., your fees will be reduced by the amount you paid the firm for the initial consultation). Our consult rates are from $150 to $200/hour depending on the attorney you are scheduled to meet with. The consult rate is prorated, depending upon the amount of time spent with the attorney. Toward the end of the consultation, the attorney will advise you regarding the required deposit should you wish to retain the firm. This is assessed after the attorney learns more about your case and depends on whether you desire full scope representation, limited scope representation or whether you are just looking for advice and are not ready to engage in Court proceedings yet.
- Punctuality – It is important to arrive to your scheduled appointment on-time to ensure you have your full allotted time with the attorney. Otherwise, you may be losing some of your scheduled time due to other scheduled appointments. If you are running late, we ask that you please contact the office as soon as possible to let us know.
- Cancellation Policy – We greatly appreciate a courtesy phone call as soon as possible to let us know if you wish to cancel or re-schedule your appointment.