When you need a lawyer, finding a good fit is vital. Whether it’s a criminal case or a family law case like divorce, setting a tone for trust and communication is a necessary first step. The initial consultation gives your legal team a chance to get to know you. It also gives you a sense of how we operate. Our experienced lawyers will guide the process with essential questions, and we encourage clients to ask questions, too. It fosters communication and lays the groundwork for preparing your case. Both criminal and family law cases often come with stress and confusion. Our team can help reduce those barriers from the outset so we can focus on your case.
Family Law Cases: The Initial Consultation
Most of our family law cases involve divorce. Every divorce is different, and every case hinges on deeply personal circumstances. Be ready to share information with your prospective attorneys at your initial consultation. This may be uncomfortable. However, our professional team deals with sensitive subjects every day. Our introductory conversations are confidential even if you don’t hire our firm. Your attorney knows the right questions to ask to make the process as smooth as possible. If you have a prenuptial agreement or other legal documents, bring them to the consultation, and be ready to discuss some of the following topics:
- What are your goals for the divorce and custody process?
- How is your current relationship with your spouse? Is the divorce amicable or hostile?
- Do you anticipate a custody battle?
- Are there complex financial issues involved?
Estate Planning: The Initial Consultation
Estate planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy. Many clients feel an enormous sense of relief when they schedule that first appointment to start getting their affairs in order. At your first meeting, be ready to discuss your family and financial situation, including:
- Children and grandchildren.
- Marriage status and previous marriages.
- Your financial assets.
- Do you already have a will and/or trust set up?
- Who do you want to serve as your executor?
- Who do you want to have power of attorney?
Estate planning allows you to clarify your wishes, and the initial consultation is an excellent place to frame the conversation.
Criminal Law: The Initial Consultation
Everyone accused of a crime has the right to justice. As experienced defense attorneys, we’re committed to protecting our clients’ rights and interests. We recognize that being accused of a crime is stressful, especially for clients who have never interacted with the legal system before. At our first meeting, we’ll look at the charges against you and the details of your case. Be ready to discuss your criminal history if you have one and your educational and employment history. Our team needs to understand your life story, which often plays a significant role in court. Bring documents from the courts and law enforcement to your initial consultation, including:
- Tickets and court summons
- Property search orders.
- Upcoming hearing dates.
- Paperwork related to bail.
We also encourage you to bring:
- Your notes on your version of the events that led to your arrest.
- A list of potential witnesses.
- Your photos or videos of events related to your arrest.
Is There A Fee for the Initial Consultation?
The Laurel Brigade Law Group does not charge a fee for criminal defense or personal injury cases. It’s an opportunity for us to assess your case and decide whether it’s a good fit. It’s also a chance for you to get a sense of our firm and whether we meet your needs for representation.
With family law and estate planning, we hit the ground running, providing usable legal advice from the outset. So there is a fee for the initial consultation in these cases.
How Much Will My Legal Representation Cost?
We can usually give you a general sense of how much your case will cost at our initial consultation. We have several fee structures: flat, hourly and contingency fees. In most criminal and family law cases, we charge an hourly rate with an up-front retainer to get started. In some cases, especially estate planning, we set a flat fee. We usually accept personal injury cases on contingency: the law firm receives a percentage of the settlement if we win your case. Our team will go over fee structure and payment options at your initial consultation.
Getting To Know Your Legal Team
At the Laurel Brigade Law Group, we encourage you to bring your questions and be ready to share your story at our initial consultation. It’s our opportunity to get to know you–and your chance to get to know us. Our dedicated team of attorneys has been serving Loudoun County and the region in civil and criminal cases for decades. The initial consultation is a chance to start building a relationship based on confidence and trust. It also brings a tremendous sense of relief for clients to know they have a team of experts on their side.