How Good Is Free Legal Advice?

Legal advice is expensive. Lawyers do a law degree and practical training course and then get experience as they help clients. They also attend professional development courses. Their advice is their product. Their income is earned from giving people advice in return for money. When a person wants free legal advice, they are wanting the lawyer to give them their product for no pay in return. There aren’t many people who are willing to do this.

A person might get “free” advice from a legal aid lawyer or from a community legal center. The advice isn’t “free”, it is paid for by someone else. The lawyer gets paid, but the client doesn’t pay. However if the client’s legal matter isn’t simple, then the legal aid lawyers and the community legal service lawyers can’t do much because they don’t have the time or resources to devote to one person’s matter, when there are so many others demanding their time and attention.

Some lawyers advertise a “free first interview”. This can make the consumer think that they will get some free legal assistance. This isn’t necessarily true. One lawyer made sure that during the “free” interview, no legal help was given. The consumer’s name and details were taken and their story listened to. Then a second interview was made and this was to be paid for. Another lawyer stated that the first 20 minutes were free, but every minute after that was charged at $2.00. Again, that lawyer didn’t give any advice in the first 20 minutes. The “free first interview” is just a marketing ploy to get clients to come in.

Occasionally you will find a lawyer who cares about people and their problems and who will actually give people some good legal advice for no charge. But even in this case, there will not be a lot of good advice given. Any lawyer who gives away their product for free will go out of business. The money the lawyer gets pays for their office and their staff. There might not be much left over after the costs have been taken out.

People are nearly always going to get better legal help when they pay for it. It’s like a bakery. The fresh products are sold for full price, but the day old products for half-price, and the almost stale products are given away. The old adage holds true: “You get what you pay for”.

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