If you have a matter that requires legal representation, finding the right law firm to take your case is important. However, taking that first step can be challenging, especially when you do not know what to expect. At Rountree Losee, all potential clients go through the following intake process to ensure that their questions are answered and that we are able to help them make the best decision when hiring an attorney to handle your legal issues.
Step 1: Call Our Office
The first step to hiring one of our attorneys to represent you or your business is to contact our office. Your call will be routed to the appropriate legal assistant who will walk you through our client intake process.
During this call, you will be asked for a summary of your legal situation so that we can share this information with our attorneys and ensure that we have no conflicts of interest. This allows our attorneys to cross-check prior and existing clients to ensure that we will not have any issues advocating on your behalf.
After we have established that there are no conflicts with our representation of you, we will schedule you for an initial consultation with an attorney from our law firm.
Step 2: The Initial Consultation
This consultation is simply an initial meeting between you and one of our attorneys prior to making a decision to hire our office to represent you. This is also an opportunity for the attorney to collect more information about your legal matter and discuss how our attorneys can help you navigate your legal issues.
It is important to note that the initial consultation does not form an attorney-client relationship with our law firm. An attorney-client relationship can only be formed after an attorney has submitted an engagement agreement to you, and you have signed the agreement. However, everything that you share with an attorney during the initial consultation will remain privileged and confidential.
Step 3: Discussing Attorneys’ Fees
Before you make a decision about whether to hire an attorney, it is important to understand the potential financial cost of your legal representation. There are many different types of fee structures. The most common fee structure is regular billing at an hourly rate. The hourly rate fee structure requires the attorney to keep track of the time he or she spends on a case down to the tenth of an hour. The attorney then charges you a set rate for the specific amount of time spent on your case. For most cases, the hourly rate structure is accompanied by a deposit to the law firm’s trust account, or a retainer.
You may also be offered a flat rate fee structure. This fee is charged to you at the beginning of the representation and no additional attorneys’ fees are incurred during the course of the engagement. This type of fee structure is usually applied to transactional legal work, such as drafting corporate or estate documents.
If you pay a retainer fee, then your funds will be deposited into a special trust account. Funds will only be transferred from this trust account to the law firm’s business account after we have rendered legal services on your behalf.
Step 4: Signing an Engagement Letter
Once the initial consultation has taken place and you have discussed the terms of representation with the attorney, our law firm will send you an engagement letter. This letter sets forth the terms of your engagement, detailing the scope of our representation and any associated costs.
After reviewing the engagement letter, you will be asked to sign and return the letter to our firm. Once this has occurred and funds have been deposited, an attorney-client relationship will be officially formed.
If you have any questions about hiring one of our attorneys to represent you or your business, please call our office today.