Any law firm receptionist can tell you that law offices get a lot of phone calls from people who have a “quick question” and want to speak to a lawyer. Often, those callers are surprised when they contact Halcomb Singler and they cannot connect with an attorney. The purpose of this blog is to explain why Halcomb Singler will not connect you to a divorce attorney via the phone unless you are already a client.
First, it is important to understand that all that a lawyer has to sell is his or her knowledge and his or her time. Attorneys, as a rule, make paper. We aren’t selling any tangible item. However, we have a very specific amount of time in which to complete our work. As a result, our time is limited. Attorneys know from experience that even through a caller may think he or she has a quick question, that in order to give a competent legal response the attorney is probably going to have to spend at least 15 minutes on the phone and ask many questions. Attorneys have learned that there is no such thing as a quick question when it comes to the law. Unfortunately, there is not much about the law that is straightforward and changing one small fact may very well change an attorney’s answer.
Second, Indiana divorce attorneys are bound by the Indiana Rules of Professional Responsibility. These are rules of ethics. In divorce law, once an attorney has had a conversation with one party, he or she is conflicted out of representing the other spouse. This is true regardless of whether the attorney received a dime. Therefore, a free 15 minutes on the phone can result in a lot of wasted time and then not being able to represent the other party, who may be more than willing to pay for the attorney’s time.
Third, most attorneys are quite busy with the clients who have previously retained them and map out their day in order to get work done in time for various deadlines. As a result, divorce lawyers often do not have the time to stop what they are doing for a paying client to speak to someone on the phone. Divorce attorneys are willing to meet with new clients (at a fee), but like to schedule an appointment so that they are able to plan their schedule and dedicate their full attention to the person in front of them. After all, it doesn’t help the potential client if the attorney is distracted by the findings of facts and conclusions of law that he or she is drafting from a hearing earlier in the week and isn’t able to dedicated all of his or her attention to the caller.
Fourth, divorce attorneys are often jaded. This means that divorce attorneys have had bad experiences speaking with people on the phone who are not yet clients. Mostly, this means that they have found through experience that these people are not interested in paying an attorney for his or her advice and are simply calling around to find the cheapest attorney or attempting to gain enough information to represent themselves. There is certainly nothing wrong with proceeding pro se, but attorneys have spent years in school, preparing for and passing a bar exam and honing their crafts. Attorneys do expect to be paid for their services the same way that a car mechanic expects to be paid for his or her services. Unfortunately, there seems to be a public perception that attorneys either should not be paid so much or that they make so much money that they don’t need to get paid. We submit that this is not an accurate assessment and our clients understand the value of our services.
Halcomb Singler looks forward to calls from potential clients. We serve divorce clients in Hamilton, Marion and Boone Counties. Our divorce attorney is accepting new clients and is happy to meet with you at our Carmel, Indiana office. Our fee for a divorce consultation is $200.00. In the event you retain one of our attorneys the fee is then credited to your retainer. For an appointment call our office at (317) 575-8222 or click here.