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Should Divorce Lawyers Offer Free Consultations?

Written by Gary Honold on . Posted in .
Home > Blog > Should Divorce Lawyers Offer Free Consultations?

Key Takeaways:

  • As an attorney at law, you do not have to offer free consultations to your family law prospective clients.
  • There are advantages to offering free consultations, especially for newer attorneys, but there are also time factors to consider.
  • You could choose an alternative option that allows prospective clients to make better use of your time.
  • With our online marketing for lawyers at Array Digital, we can help you determine what’s best for your firm, maximize your SEO, and boost your client appointments.

While free consultations are the norm for certain practice areas like personal injury and criminal defense law, there are mixed opinions about their value for family law firms. Whether free consultations are right for your law practice is a decision you have to make for yourself based on several factors, not least of which are your time and energy.

We’re here to help you weigh out those decisions.

What are the pros and cons of offering free consultations on your family law firm’s website?

A free consultation typically involves reviewing the facts and details of the legal matter. It also often involves looking over any contracts, agreements, or existing legal orders. Attorneys typically then provide information about the legal rights the client has based on only the facts presented. In a free consultation, you can expect to offer:

  • A statement of the client’s rights based on the facts presented
  • The potential legal strategies available
  • The potential outcomes of each
  • The costs related to each process

The client leaving a free consultation should have information, not decisions or solutions. Why offer a free consultation? Here’s the good and bad of it.

Pros

  • Build your client list. For attorneys, free consultations help get people in the door.
  • Get extra foot traffic into your law office that you otherwise may not have, increasing potential clients.
  • Build your reputation and name in the community.

Cons

  • Your time is money and valuable to your professional life.
  • Some people schedule free consultations to get free legal advice with no intention of becoming clients.
  • It takes you away from other clients who are paying you.

Let’s talk metrics: How much monthly traffic is a divorce attorney actually missing out on when they don’t offer free consultations?

Free consultation divorce lawyer average monthly traffic

Consider the following search volume data for the following key phrases:

  • Free consultation divorce lawyer: 2.6K
  • Divorce lawyer free consultation: 2.6K
  • Free consultation family lawyer: 350

It may look like free consultations for family attorneys are not worth the effort. It looks like not many people are looking for that service.

However, even if a small percentage of the clicks resulted in consultations and a fraction of those consultations turned into clients, you’re still gaining several new clients every month.

Thinking about what “a few extra clients a month” means to you and your firm, determine if this is valuable to you. For most attorneys, this means considering what the cost of their time is to do a few free consultations per month.

  • Could you do 10 a month?
  • Perhaps you could do two a week?
  • How much time does this take from your work week?
  • What would you be doing with those hours otherwise?

Considering these questions, determine if it is in the best interest of your firm and your time to work for free in order to secure a few additional cases or not. Only you can determine the answer to that based on your firm.

Most people looking for a free consultation need legal representation. Some may want free information so they can better understand specific nuances of divorce law. Others have a very unique situation and need just the right attorney.

Bottom line: Should divorce lawyers offer free consultations?

It is a personal choice that relies on how the pros and cons balance for you and your law firm.

As a child support, child custody, or divorce attorney, you know what you are doing with your time on a daily basis. Does it make sense to your firm to spend an unpaid hour discussing the divorce process, property division, and spousal support limitations?

If your firm needs clients, if you are struggling just getting started or holding your footing, free consultations certainly make sense. Even an experienced divorce lawyer can offer free consultations as a way to bulk up their client roster.

Free initial consultations can get your site more clicks, meaning more people coming to your office who may turn into clients.

Alternatives to free consultations

Not all family law attorneys should offer free legal advice in consultations like this. There are several alternative options that may offer a better solution.

  • Flat fee: Consider a flat fee that is then credited towards their retainer if they sign up. For example, for divorce cases, you may charge an initial fee for the consultation but apply that to their balance for the legal services when they become a client. This is also considered a non-refundable deposit.
  • Short assessment: Offer a shorter (15-30 minute) assessment-like meeting instead of a full formal breakdown of the legal process. You do not need to cover all family law matters, but you can offer some insight and connect with potential clients who may want more information before committing to legal representation.

Another route is to offer free resources that can comprehensively answer all of the questions that a person typically asks during a free consultation. Consider what questions clients have that are common. Then, create:

  • Webinars
  • Ebooks
  • Evergreen blog content
  • Podcasts
  • Downloadable guides, PDFs

This allows people to make informed decisions about establishing an attorney-client relationship with you but does not tie up your time with unpaid work. You have more flexibility in the time needed to create these tools than you do for an hour-long conversation about divorce proceedings in the middle of the workday.

Why law firms partner with Array Digital

Online advertising for lawyers does not always have to include free consultations. When you need to stand out in this industry and pull clients in, you need to have an online and local established brand, a well-built website, and exceptional search engine optimization. That is where Array Digital comes in.

Our specific experience helping law firms of all sizes, expertise in digital marketing, and our years of success allow us to meet our clients where they are. We listen to clients and then create custom strategies for them.

Testimonials

“The legal profession needs more architects and designers…folks who are thinking about the future of the profession and who are assembling a tribe of like-minded lawyer leaders. Eric and his team are certainly “that.” There are many good marketing companies out there, but I think you need to have conversations with their leadership in order to figure out if you are aligned philosophically… Talk to Erik!” — Ben G.

“Array Digital and Kevin Daisy, in particular, have the right attitude about helping companies raise their profile and gain more clients. They deliver value and results. I highly recommend them and refer my clients to them.” — Eric D.

“Erik and his team at Array Digital are extremely knowledgeable in the area of marketing and all of the facets that are needed to help businesses grow and promote their brand. Our co-founding attorneys interviewed with Erik for his Managing Partners Podcast and it was clear during the interview that Erik and his team are industry experts and really care about their work and their clients!” — Morris W.

Make the most of your time

Your time is simply too valuable to waste. Whether you offer free consultations or not, maximizing your return on investment for your marketing strategies starts with a solid web presence.

Set up a consultation with Array Digital now to talk about it. Call 757-333-3021 or fill out the form here.

Written By Gary Honold
I am a digital marketer and SEO manager with 30+ years’ experience driving web traffic, leads, and conversions for clients in highly competitive markets.

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