The Law Offices of Christine G. DeBernardis

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Where Experience, Integrity and Compassion Matter

Legal Consultation: Is it Worth It?

We often read other articles and posts and we came across a series of discussions recently debating whether or not there was a benefit to contacting an attorney for a consultation.  While not all lawyers offer this service, our office does offer this service.  We thought we would write this article to discuss our family law practice and the free consultation, why we use it, how we use it and how it can benefit you to use it. The following information pertains only to our office and your “free consultation” with Attorney DeBernardis.

Consultation – what is it really?

First off, is it really a consultation? Yes.  It’s really a consultation.  A consultation is a communication between you and the lawyer (Atty DeBernardis) where you can lay out your situation in detail and discuss your concerns, get information and understand the court process.  This gives Christine time to determine whether this is the right type of case for her,  and if so, she can begin to put a plan together and provide you with some initial information.  If she doesn’t take these cases, or it is not the right fit in her opinion, she can refer you to another lawyer or legal service.  A few notes about this conversation.

  1.  It is protected by the attorney-client privilege.  Even for a brief consultation, the lawyer cannot reveal the information that you provide during your call and/or any subsequent meetings. When you speak to a lawyer and you are seeking advice, the attorney-client privilege is created. This prevents the attorney from revealing any details in a future conversation or investigation.
  2. This conversation provides the lawyer with a way to know if this is a case she can take.  Lawyers do not take all cases due to conflicts in time constraints and court schedules, caseload or type of case itself.  This allows the attorney to gather some initial facts to know if this will fit the caseload or needs to be referred out.
  3. The more accurate information you can provide the attorney, the better information the attorney can provide.  There are some cases where a lawyer can advise you and save you from hiring an attorney at all.  In other cases, you may need to hire her for only a short period.  Unless she has a fairly thorough picture of the situation, Christine cannot provide you with helpful information.


Having an initial consultation allows you to ask about the length of time the case may take, the rate you will be charged, and the availability of the attorney.  You will also have the opportunity to ask about the lawyer’s communication style.  These questions allow you to ensure that you are hiring the correct person for your case.  Read our article about questions you should ask before hiring an attorney.

If you have a question, contact our office for a family law consultation.  We are happy to help!

Other helpful articles: Topics to Discuss with Your Lawyer

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