Information About Consultations
What Happens During an Initial Consultation with a Bernabei & Kabat Attorney?
Many people with employment issues are hesitant to contact an employment attorney because they don’t know what to expect during an initial consultation, and don’t want to be pressured into any decisions.
You are making a smart decision by seeking more information about the employment lawyers you are considering retaining for your unique employment situation. Deciding whether to hire an employment attorney, and identifying the right employment attorney, is not an easy process. We want you to be fully informed about what to expect during your initial interactions with Bernabei & Kabat, PLLC.
1. Before Your Consultation
When we schedule you to come to our office to meet with our attorneys for an in-person consultation, you will have already had a detailed telephone conversation with one of our team members about your employment situation. The team member gathers information from you to determine the nature of your employment problem, then sends that information to our partners, who review your situation to determine if we might be able to help you. If your problem is one that matches our areas of expertise, and we think we can help you with that problem, we will invite you to the office for an in-person consultation. If you have a problem unrelated to your job that we cannot help you with, we may refer you to another highly-qualified law firm we know and trust who specializes in your particular issue.
Before we meet with you, however, we ask that you submit a detailed timeline of events related to your employment situation, and any relevant documents we may need to review in your unique situation. We will send you a list of the information and documentation we need to review before we meet in person.
It is incredibly important that we receive this information and documentation at least 24 hours in advance of your consultation, so that we have time to review the materials in depth, make notes of any questions we have, identify any potential legal claims you might assert, and research any legal issues we need to clarify before meeting with you. We want to be fully prepared to discuss your situation when we walk into the room to meet with you.
2. During Your Consultation
During your consultation, you will typically meet with one of our partners and one other member of our legal team. We will discuss the details of your employment situation and ask you the questions we identified while reviewing your documents. We will also discuss any potential legal claims you may have, as well as your options going forward, and how we might be able to help.
In some circumstances, we determine during the consultation that you don’t need to hire us, or perhaps don’t need to hire us yet. If you came to us as soon as you noticed that your employment situation was taking a turn for the worse, we may be able to advise you during the consultation on the steps you can take to protect your rights and your bargaining position without an attorney. There is often a lot you can do on your own, and we will provide you with the information and tools that fit your unique situation.
Or you may just need the consultation to discuss a severance package you were offered. We will review the agreement in advance, and during the consultation we’ll discuss with you our suggested changes and our view of your best strategies for maximizing the amount of severance your employer might pay.
Because of the extensive amount of time and individualized attention we give to each consultation, we do not offer free consultations. We are confident that the information and guidance we provide during our consultations will prove to be worth your investment.
By the end of the consultation, if we determine that (1) you need ongoing employment law counsel; (2) our attorneys can help you with your specific employment problem; and (3) you are the type of high-performing, collegial employee that we want as a client, we will offer to represent you. At that time, we will discuss the terms of our retainer agreement and retainer fee, and answer any questions you have.
3. After Your Consultation
We will not pressure you to decide during the consultation whether to retain our firm! In fact, we won’t even give you a copy of our retainer agreement until after your consultation, so that you have the time and space to review it in the comfort of your own home. We encourage you to take your time and ask us any questions you may have before you sign the retainer agreement. Hiring a lawyer is a big decision, and that decision should not be rushed.
When you return the signed retainer agreement and the retainer fee, we will officially be your attorneys, and you will be our client. Congratulations! Let’s get to work together on solving your employment problem!