Many lawyers charge consultation fees, and doing so is by no means wrong, but we at The Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle made a definitive and thought-out choice to offer free consultations to our clients for the following reasons:
1. We think clients shouldn’t be charged to decide if they want to be clients. If you look at a menu in a restaurant but don’t like any of the choices, you can walk away without paying. If you aren’t comfortable with a lawyer, you shouldn’t already be committed to them.
2. We want to be able to say no. Sometimes, clients come to us with matters that are not really appropriate or ripe. They want to pursue legal avenues that are not necessarily in their best interests. We are honest with potential clients when we feel their matter is better solved by practical solutions or that by raising an issue they are exposing themselves to greater harm in other areas. We want to be able to honestly tell clients this without feeling that we are obligated to encourage their actions because they have paid for the time it takes to dissuade them.
3. We want to encourage people to come to us early, instead of waiting until things are so desperate they feel it’s “worth the fee”. Sometimes, early advice can help people avoid costly or painful mistakes in their matter and we want them to feel safe to come to us with these issues.
4. We want to make sure we can offer value. There may be a matter that the client needs handled that is outside our practice area. If that’s the case, we can refer it to one of the many competent professionals we regularly work with and send cases to for handling. Although we cover many practice areas, we do not cover all possible legal areas and we want to make sure potential clients are well served.
Sometimes, free consults lead to people coming in who knowingly do not have the resources to retain us or who are merely seeking to take free advice and avoid retaining an attorney. We understand this. Sometimes we do not mind offering some “free advice” to someone whose matter may not really require the use of an attorney and who doesn’t have the resources to extend themselves for mere convenience. Although we take pro bono cases only through court appointment or programs set up to properly vet and manage pro bono clients, we are always willing to take phone consults for domestic violence victims who need to understand the process of restraining orders.
If you are in need of a free consult in any of the following types of matters, please call us to set it up today at 856-227-7888 or email [email protected]. We have locations in Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester counties, and are happy to discuss your options on:
Special Needs Trusts