Abraham Lincoln, a lawyer by profession, was exactly on the mark when he said: “A lawyer’s advice and time are his stock in trade.” That’s what we sell — our time (as well as our knowledge).
Now put that together with another old, but very true, saying: “You get what you pay for.” So. . . when you go for cheap, you are bound to get less of that lawyer’s time and attention. I have explained how this works before here in a prior blog posting about cheap lawyers and bankruptcy mills.
I state the foregoing (if you will indulge me in a little legalese) as an introduction to the present rant. Excuse me while I spout.
This the second time in a week that I am doing a consultation answering legal questions for former clients of a bankruptcy attorney who bills himself as the “#1 Bankruptcy Filer” in his state. (Although that statement connotes he’s the best in quality (an advertising assertion, which, by the way, may run afoul of the state bar association professional ethics rules) actually it just means his office happened to file more cases than anyone that calendar quarter).
It’s annoying, to put it mildly, and infuriating, to be more precise. I’m spending my time, doing a free consultation and clarifying issues that should have been explained by the attorney they paid to do the case.
It points up something that you need to take into account when you hire your bankruptcy attorney: Make sure he or she, or knowledgeable staff, is available and competent to answer your questions. This is the intangible that represents the real value when you hire a legal adviser.
Don’t be one of those who calls around asking: “How much do you charge?” You’ll get a low, low price and nobody there to provide you with a key component of the service: counseling. It’s not for nothing that attorneys are also referred to as “counsel.”
Don’t get short-changed. The attorney and staff, while sometimes not immediately available, should eventually be able to answer your questions — before you have to go elsewhere.
Call our law firm if we can help you.