Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have a legal issue and I need some advice. What’s my first step?
If your legal matter falls within our areas of practice, you will be screened for any potential conflicts and scheduled for a consultation with one of our attorneys. We have several attorneys in our office; you will be paired with an attorney who has experience in your type of legal matter. We charge a $75 fee for consultations, to be paid at the time of service. The consultation will last up to 1 hour. We accept cash, check, or credit/debit cards.
Q: Other law firms offer a free consultation. Why does Attorneys Northwest charge for a consultation?
Our consultations are more than a 15 minute screening appointment; our attorneys offer substantial legal advice in a private meeting for up to 1 hour. Often, certain types of legal matters can be resolved in this one appointment and many questions are answered. Because our hourly rates are so significantly reduced compared to private law firms, we are unable to provide a free consultation. The amount we save our clients in legal fees for hourly services is significant compared to other firms (approximately 60% for first tier clients over the course of a legal matter).
Q: If Attorneys Northwest is a non-profit, doesn’t that mean the services are supposed to be free?
Attorneys Northwest, Inc. does not offer services for free, but rather, at significantly reduced rates based on income. Our first tier rates are approximately 60% reduced from the area average. We believe charging a lower fee, rather than providing pro bono work, creates a sense of value for our services and preserves the dignity of our clients. We have found that a personal investment from the client is essential and shows buy-in to the efforts of their attorney. Our services match that of any for-profit firm; however, we provide these services at reduced rates for income limited individuals as a community service.
Q: What happens after my consultation?
If your legal matter is ongoing, the consult attorney will advise you of the next steps in your matter. If the attorney agrees to take your case, and you decide to retain Attorneys Northwest, you will sign an engagement letter which states what services will be provided to you and outlines the details of our engagement as your legal counsel. We require a retainer to commence representation.
Q: What is a retainer?
A retainer is the amount of money that our firm will request from you at the time of engagement. We have standard retainers for certain types of legal matters (please see the following question for some examples). You will be required to provide this retainer when you retain our services. Our retainers are approximately 50% less than the area average. A retainer is not the entire price of your legal services. In the event that your legal fees exceed the retainer provided, you will be required to make an additional deposit. We will refund any unused portion of your retainer at the conclusion of our representation.
Q: How much is the retainer?
Our retainers are based on a number of hours at your quoted hourly rate. For example, our child custody matters require 20 hours in retainer; 20 hours x hourly rate = retainer amount
Q: I just need someone to look over my divorce paperwork; do you provide this service?
We provide document review on an a la carte basis; we charge an hourly rate for this service based on the number of pages to review. Please contact our office for more information about pricing for a more accurate quote.
Q: My legal matter isn’t listed on your website; does that mean you cannot help me?
Legal matters are so varied that we cannot create an all-encompassing list of services that we offer. We understand that your legal matter and your challenges are unique. Contact our office today to speak with one of our intake coordinators to see if your situation falls within one of our practice areas. In the rare instance that we do not have an attorney with experience with your type of legal matter, we will do our best to provide you with a referral.