What To Expect From Your Consultation
Meeting with an attorney is not an all-or-nothing process. There are several different ways a consultation can help your case. The first step is always to schedule a consultation with an attorney. After a consultation, you can choose to have the attorney represent you, or you can schedule a follow-up consultation.
Below is a description of each type of service you can request during your consultation, and a description of what options you have for an attorney represent you.
A general consultation is a one-hour meeting with Ms. Mulcahy for an in-depth conversation of your case. Ms. Mulcahy will answer any questions you may have, and provide you with detailed advice on the timeline of your case, possible outcomes, and what you should do to move your case forward.
Document review can usually occur within a general consultation. Ms. Mulcahy will sit down with you to review the document and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. If it is a document which requires a response, Ms. Mulcahy will outline how to respond and file your response with the Court. More complex documents can also be reviewed by Ms. Mulcahy independently, and she will provide you with detailed notes or suggestions in writing.
A consultation can also be used to help you draft one or more documents for your case, depending on the complexity of the documents needed. Ms. Mulcahy will spend time with you to get an understanding of your case and the outcome you wish to achieve and assist in formatting and drafting of the necessary document(s). Ms. Mulcahy will also provide a description of how to navigate the legal process of filing and serving these documents once they are complete.
Full Representation – the most common form of representation, an attorney enters into your case on your behalf. There are no limitations to this representation. The attorney negotiates on your behalf, answers any questions you have, files motions, and represents you in court.
Limited Representation – some clients find it helpful and cost-effective to have an attorney for one part of their case, but not others. Attorneys can often enter a “limited appearance” in your case. This could mean sending a letter on your behalf and nothing more. It could also mean preparing and attending a child support hearing on your behalf. Whether a limited appearance can benefit your case depends on the type of case and is something that should be discussed with the attorney during the consultation.
Flat Fee Cases – there are a few types of family law cases that can be charged as a “flat fee,” meaning you pay a one-time fee for the attorney’s work. Nothing is refunded to you, and you make no additional payments. Whether or not your case qualifies as a flat fee case should be discussed with the attorney during the consultation.
Follow-up Consultations – another option is to not have the attorney represent you at all but to offer you advice as you proceed through your case. This would mean you represent yourself in court, file all documents yourself, etc., but would schedule a consultation any time you need help, such as drafting a motion, answering legal questions that arise after your first consultation, or preparing for a hearing that has been scheduled by the judge. While this does not offer many of the benefits to having an attorney, it can be the most cost-effective way of receiving legal advice while representing yourself.