Many of our clients have never needed a lawyer before, or certainly not a divorce or family law attorney. In order to make you feel more at ease, here are some frequently asked questions that may help you feel more prepared when you meet with one of the attorneys at the Levitt Law Group.
If there are other questions you have that you would like us to add to this list, that you think would be helpful to another client, please let us know!
- How do I prepare for a consultation with the attorney and what do I bring?
- How do I decide which lawyer to meet with at the Levitt Law Group?
- How are legal fees and retainers determined?
- What is a fee agreement?
- What is the best way to communicate with the attorney?
- What is the role of support staff in the law office?
- How do I make an appointment?
- Is there a consultation fee?
- Do I need to have a lawyer that is close to my home or place of work?
- How do I understand the differences between Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Litigation, and how do I choose the best process for me?
A. In meeting with the attorney for the first time, think about what the issues are and what your goals are in terms of the outcome for you and your family, so that you can share that information with the lawyer. The meeting generally takes approximately an hour. During the meeting the lawyer will have you tell them your story, and ask questions to gather information from you, in order to provide you with legal information at the first consult.
It is not necessary that you bring any documents to the first consultation, and if you have no documents or choose to bring none, it will not prevent you from having a consultation with the attorney; in fact, in some cases it may not be advisable to bring documents or documents may not be available to you to bring. However, it can be helpful sometimes to have documentary information with you if accessible to you. It can be as simple as bringing a written list of your assets and liabilities and those of the other party regardless of in whose name, and the estimated values of those assets and liabilities, to make the meeting more efficient. It can also be helpful to bring copies of any documents that might be relevant to your case. These can include a recent paystub for each party, last year’s tax return personal and business, and the most recent statements for any bank accounts, retirement plans, or other financial assets in either your name or the name of the other party, and if the matter is already in court copies of any initial court filing and any court orders so the attorney can assess where you are in the legal process.
A. When you call, you can ask to speak with a particular attorney, or you may have no preference. Our staff is very helpful in scheduling you with the attorney who may best fit your needs.
When you call to make an appointment, generally a short intake will be done over the phone, to be sure we are available and to be sure there are no conflicts of interest that would preclude us from meeting with you. Let us know what days/times of the week generally work for you for an appointment, and how best we can contact you to confirm an appointment. If we are unable to meet your needs or provide you with an appointment for any reason, we may be able to provide you with the appropriate referral.
A. We determine legal fees and retainers based upon what services you require, and the complexity of the case. The hourly rates for attorneys and support staff may also vary based upon experience.
A. A fee agreement is a written contract between the attorney and the client that spells out the terms of the representation once we are hired to represent you. The agreement is signed by both the lawyer and the client.
A. We work with you to find the best way for us to communicate together. During the initial consult with the attorney, it is a good idea to discuss this so that we can determine the most effective and efficient means of communication.
A. Support staff are the bridge between attorneys and clients, and are an important part of any office, so we hope you get to know them too!
A. The best way to make an appointment is to call the office directly, so we can do an intake, determine your needs, whether there are any conflicts of interest, and then schedule a time for you to come in to meet with an attorney.
A. We do charge a consultation fee, but it is less than our usual hourly rate. It is payable at the end of the consultation.
A. In choosing an attorney, geographic area can be important, as clients sometimes choose attorneys close to home or work; however, clients sometimes also specifically choose a lawyer not in their local community or near work. Although our main office is in Chelmsford, we do travel to other locations and are open to discussing with clients geographical considerations that might relate to convenience and/or cost. For example, we might consider when scheduling a meeting with parties and counsel, what geographic location is the most cost effective for everyone to meet; in Collaborative Law, the professionals discuss with the clients where they prefer to meet. In today’s “virtual” world, a lot of our work is done via email, phone and fax.
The Levitt Law Group represents clients from many different geographic areas. For example, we have represented clients throughout Middlesex, Essex, and Worcester counties. These include clients who live or work in the Lowell, Chelmsford, and Westford metropolitan areas and including but not limited to towns such as Billerica, Reading, Dracut, and Littleton; the greater Merrimack Valley communities including but not limited to Andover, Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill; the Concord-Assabet Valley region including but not limited to Acton, Carlisle, Concord, Sudbury, and Lincoln, the metro-west areas including Arlington, Bedford, Burlington, Lexington, Newton, Waltham, Wellesley, and Woburn; and southern New Hampshire including Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. We have even represented clients from around the country, from California to Florida to Texas to Maine!
A. Our website contains a lot of information that may help you think about the different legal processes such as Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Litigation, how they work, and what might be best for you. When you meet with an attorney at the Levitt Law Group, after hearing your story and gathering your information, they will discuss your options with you and help you make choices regarding your next steps.