At our office, for most consumer claims we offer a free initial consultation (we do charge for federal student loan consultations). We do this as a courtesy to our potential clients. As a consumer law firm, we are most often dealing with a consumer who is being harassed by a debt collection agency ( or being sued by that agency) or we are dealing with a defective vehicle. Many potential clients don’t know where to turn or who to look to for guidance. Many times, they come across our firm’s information by Googling it or through word of mouth. In any event, we are glad to offer that free initial consultation. We consider it a professional courtesy. We also do this as a means of increasing business to our firm. We are not unlike you, we have families to feed and bills to pay. Consumer law is not nearly as lucrative as many other areas of law (the best personal injury attorneys make millions of dollars…. and we certainly don’t) but we enjoy what we do and we enjoy the interactions with our potential clients. They have contacted us with no hope and that’s exactly what we give them…hope. We can beat that debt collector, or we can stop them from harassing you, or we can make the dealer pay for selling you that wrecked vehicle.
What we are having trouble with are those who take advantage of our kindness. It’s very disheartening to have an initial consultation with a person, answer some follow up emails from them, perhaps take another phone call or two from them, then have them hire another attorney who quotes them $50 less, or, who is a few miles closer to their home. I understand that business is business and money is money, but please consider the time of the person who is offering you that free consultation. They (we) are doing so for a reason…. we assume that you are looking to hire a knowledgeable professional. We give you our time and our knowledge, all that we ask in return is that you consider that we are giving our time to you for free and that we are doing so with the expectation that you will retain our services if your legal issue is one that we are experienced with. I’m not saying that this only happens to our firm, but it does happen to us more often than we’d like…. it almost feels like the person is stealing our time and knowledge. Hey, I’ll consult with Morrow and Artim because they are so knowledgeable, but I’ll hire second rate attorney because he charges a hair less. If you take a free consultation, please do so with the understanding that the person giving the consultation is giving up time with other potential paying clients to assist you and give you the one thing that you need in your time of trouble…. and that is hope.