We receive this question fairly regularly. The answer is, like most things, it depends.
Some Immigration Attorneys will provide a 20 or 30 minute consultation to go over your matter for free. The hope is that the attorney will establish a connection with the client, and, if the attorney is able to help, they can establish an attorney-client relationship right away.
Other attorneys do charge a consultation fee in order to consult with the potential client, in detail, about their case. The going rate seems to be between $100 and $350 for a 30 minute consultation. These attorneys will generally charge this fee whether the matter is straight-forward or complex. You are basically purchasing a set amount of attorney time for your case evaluation.
If you do pay a consultation fee you should ask the attorney if the consultation fee (e.g. $150) would be applied towards your case in the event you hire the attorney. This policy will vary by office so it is a good idea to ask.
Is an Attorney who charges a consultation fee better than one that does not?
The short answer is No. Attorneys evaluate their practices and determine what works and what does not work. If the free consultation model leads to more and better clients then the attorney is likely to follow that model. If the free consultation model leads to wasted time the attorney is likely to use the consultation fee model.
Our office does offer free phone consultations (888-801-6558). We also answer email questions, free of charge, about immigration matters (firstname.lastname@example.org). The correspondence is free and confidential.
The Law Offices of Lawrence Gruner Inc., is located in downtown Sacramento and handles immigration cases throughout California, the United States and the World. We have 5 star reviews and over 20 years of experience handling immigration matters.