When we get calls from folks, inevitably the main question they have is: “Do I need a lawyer?” We covered the considerations that go into that question in Part I of this series here.
In Part II, we assumed that you'd decided you might need an attorney and you'd scheduled your free initial consultation and you were trying to figure out what to bring here.
For Part III, we're hoping to demystify what typical free initial consultations entail and the next logical steps to take after you've spoken to an attorney. If you have decided you might need an attorney and you have not yet scheduled your free consultation – please feel free to do so here.
What Consultations Entail
As attorneys here at Schauermann Thayer, our key goals when sitting down with potential clients and chatting with them for the first time are to: (1) get to know you as a person; (2) understand what happened and the issues and circumstances you are facing; (3) discern what your goals are in trying to work toward any potential resolution; (4) give you a frank explanation of your rights and options and the realities involved in undertaking legal matters; (5) decide if our firm is a good fit for you and whether we will partner with you in attempting to achieve your goals.
Thus, a consultation will generally involve an attorney reviewing all of the documentation you bring in, interviewing you as to what occurred, the circumstances surrounding the occurrence, and as to what your goals are, and summarizing the law which likely applies, your rights in your situation, and what engaging an attorney might involve in a succinct and understandable manner.
We typically schedule out initial consultations at a minimum of one hour. The consultation may not last that long, but we aim to be generous with our time. Again, initial consultations are free. Whether or not you hire us at the end of the initial consultation is absolutely your decision. You will not be strong-armed into working with our firm.
The vast majority of our firm's work is done on a contingent fee basis – this means that we get paid a percentage of what we ultimately recover for you. If we do not recover for you, you do not owe us any attorney fees – just the costs associated with prosecuting your case.
We do feel as though our respect for people generally and our focus on interpersonal relationships is one of the keys to the firm's success over the years.
Even if we ultimately decide that our firm cannot or will not represent you, it will always be our goal to provide you with information that will assist you in moving forward toward resolving the issue(s) you are facing. That may be a phone number for another capable attorney or it may be us talking through with you a way in which you may be able to resolve your issues without an attorney intervening at all. It depends, but it is always our goal to help folks in need.
To the extent you decide to work together with our firm, we will welcome you as a new client of the firm and begin diligently assisting you in achieving the goals you outlined in the initial consultation.
Clients will no doubt benefit from the exceptional staff and attorneys here at Schauermann Thayer. Our collaborative and team approach allows us to leverage the 30-plus years of experience Schauermann Thayer has in assisting our community members who have experienced a personal injury, wrongful death, dog bite, insurance issue, or bicycle or pedestrian accident – whether the occurrence happened in Washington or Oregon.