You should consult an attorney as soon as you think you might need legal help. You can save a lot of stress and anguish by finding out early on if you have anything to worry about and whether you can take any steps to help yourself. If you’re facing divorce or another family law situation or concerned that you don’t have an estate plan, consulting an attorney can be a huge relief. Why wait and worry and wonder about what’s happening when you have a possible legal problem if there are professionals who can give you advice?

Why wait until the situation becomes unbearable or you’re clearly in over your head and now dealing with an emergency that could have been addressed long before getting to this point? Lawyers can usually offer better advice and provide more options for how to deal with a situation in the early stages versus the later stages. Much of what we do is give clients advice based on our knowledge of the law and experience with the legal system and help clients develop and implement plans designed to achieve the best possible outcome. As time goes on and you get painted into a corner, you are reacting instead of planning and acting proactively. I believe I am more helpful to my divorce and other family law clients when they seek my advice early in the process.

Consulting an attorney does not obligate you to do anything. You are there to discuss your problem, get answers to questions, get a better understanding of what to expect going forward. You can then make an informed decision about whether you want to take action, what that action will be and whether you would like the attorney you’re talking with to be involved. The consultation allows you to make informed decisions. Some of my clients seeking consultation for divorce or other family law matters do not immediately retain me, but they leave the consultation ready to make informed decisions and also knowing that I am available to help them when they decide it’s time to retain me.

Some attorneys charge for their initial consultations. Others do not. I charge for my initial consultations because I’m taking approximately 90 minutes out of my workday, during which time I could be doing work for other clients, to give a potential client my undivided attention and to focus on giving him or her the best advice possible. My time, experience and education are valuable to me. One of your decisions after an initial consultation is whether, in your opinion, the cost of legal representation is worth the possible benefit.

However, I will gladly have a 15 minute phone conversation with a potential client at no charge so he or she can decide whether to meet with me for an initial consultation. If you live or work in central Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, York, Carlisle, Hershey and surrounding communities, and wish to discuss divorce, estate planning or any other legal issue, please contact me.