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Why Is There No Free Consultation?

Why Is There No Free Consultation with Dallas Divorce Lawyers?

Tarrant County divorce lawyer and blogger Dick Price recently posted a relevant article about initial consultations with divorce lawyers. Frequently we are asked when a client first calls for information whether we provide a free consultation. We charge a reduced flat fee for a consultation, less than our hourly rate, but enough to make sure the potential new client is serious in his inquiry. Here are the reasons Dick Price lists for Divorce Lawyers in Dallas and other places to charge consultation fees:

  • For the attorneys who charge by the hour, time is money. They keep their business open by charging for the time they spend working in some fashion on the client’s problems. Real information is provided in real time to the client. For the attorney, the service provided is essentially the same type of service they will be providing once they are hired: listen, ask questions, determine needs or goals, gather information, analyze, strategize and create plans.
  • Other professionals routinely charge for their time and services at an initial assessment. This includes doctors, mechanics and electricians (just to name a few). The time and skills of the professionals are being applied to the problems at hand.
  • In addition, when an attorney meets with a prospective client, the attorney becomes immediately disqualified from representing the spouse. That can result in a loss of income for the attorney.
  • Another consideration is that the attorney is unable to work on other clients’ business when they are attending an initial meeting with a potential new client. That means less income for the attorney and no progress on the other client’s issues. Even if it only delays the work, the delay can become a problem for the client and then the attorney. Most clients prefer not to be put on the back burner. They want their matter resolved NOW!
  • In addition, busier attorneys will charge for the consultation. To not charge for the consultation would subject the attorneys to spending a lot of uncompensated time with the new client. Again, that prevents the attorney from being able to do significant work on other cases.