Why Do Charleston Divorce Lawyers Charge a Consultation Fee?
Written by: Megan Dell
Most Charleston divorce lawyers charge a consultation fee, and the attorneys of Dell Family Law do too. But you are probably wondering why so many Charleston divorce lawyers are willing to forego meeting with potential clients who would prefer to first meet with a lawyer for free.
Charging a consultation fee is the right thing for us for these reasons:
1 Conflicts of Interest
When you meet with us, we want you to disclose confidential information so we can give you the best, most accurate advice. As provided by Rule 1.6 of the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct, we have a duty to keep that information confidential, and to not use it against you if you choose not to hire us.
To protect confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interest, when a potential client meets with our firm but does not hire us, our attorneys are ethically prohibited from representing the opposing party. That means there is now a case we cannot work on and, if we don’t require a consultation fee, we have received no compensation for creation of the conflict. If that happened frequently, there would be no cases for our firm to work on.
2 Our Firm’s Advice is Valuable (and Our Collective Education was Expensive)
Each of our attorneys’ and staff’s education were expensive, as the loan providers remind us every month. The expensive education allows our Charleston divorce lawyers to know the things we know and give the advice we give.
3 We Set Priorities and Design a Strategy During the Consultation
Our firm’s goal for every consultation is for the potential client to leave with more information than they had before, as well as a strategy that can be implemented throughout their case. We want you to finish the appointment less anxious, and more clear-headed, than you started. The service we provide during the consultation is valuable, even though it is usually intangible.
4 Opportunity Costs
As we all know, there are only so many hours in a day. We must use them wisely and efficiently. Every hour we spend meeting with someone for free is an hour we can’t spend working on cases that are paying the firm.
5 Malpractice Liability
It doesn’t matter whether a potential client pays our firm or not – Charleston divorce lawyers are responsible for the advice given and any negative results from it. If we don’t give good advice, a potential client could sue us, even if he or she never paid a dime.
6 No One Should Work for Free
Everyone deserves to be paid for their work, lawyers included.
Charging a consultation fee may not make us the first Charleston divorce lawyers you call, but it allows us to focus on providing value to our existing clients.
If you have a family court issue that you need help with, our attorneys are available to discuss your case. Schedule a consultation to talk with us about your situation.