The Intake Process Explained
Many people do not know what to expect when they seek help from an attorney. When you are calling about personal issues, it helps to know what information the attorney might ask you about. At DeVetter Law, we want to make sure that we both benefit from our initial consultation. We want to make sure that you are comfortable and that your questions are answered and your concerns addressed. We also want to make sure that we get all the information we need to evaluate your case so we can determine the best legal options for you.
This blog post explains our client intake process. We use this process to determine if you we can help you and if we are the right attorney for you.
Before the Intake Interview
When you set up an appointment online with our office, you will select a time for Nancy to call you and discuss your legal issues. You will then fill out our Appointment Form to give us the necessary details about your situation.
If you call our office first, our Administrative Coordinator, Taushalin, will likely answer your call. She can answer basic questions about our services, schedule a 1-on-1 call with Nancy, and get the necessary details about your situation.
If the information you provided indicates that we are not the best fit for you, you will receive an email informing you of other attorneys or services that can better assist you.
During the Intake Interview
If it looks like we will be a good fit for you, Nancy will call you at the scheduled time and likely discuss the following:
- Confirming your name, address, phone number, and email address. It is critical that we have this information correctly listed in our case system so that we can contact you and send you case information.
- For expungement clients, we will review the charges that you are concerned about and discuss your legal options. Your options may range from simple motions, to a pardon for felony convictions, to mugshot removal, to letters of advocacy to employers. We will discuss any concerns you have and answer all your questions. We will then decide together the best way to proceed and the fees for your case.
- For our probate clients, we will discuss your goals and legal strategies to accomplish those goals. We will discuss any concerns you have and answer all your questions. We will then decide together the best way to proceed and the fees for your case.
- For our estate planning clients, we will get your basic information – who needs what documents – and then send out a questionnaire to get the information we need to determine the best estate plan.
After the Intake Interview
After the initial intake interview, we hope to get started on your case! If we are unsure we want to work together or more information is needed, we will schedule a deadline to have that determined.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, expungements average $3000 per court case. Costs are higher for more complicated matters like pardons and Retroactive First Offender and if a court hearing is required. In some cases, we cannot determine a client’s full expungement options without reviewing their criminal case record (their GCIC report) and their court case. For those clients, we offer a low-cost case review to determine their options.
For probate clients, case costs can range from $2500 (if all heirs agree) to $15,000+ for multi-year litigation.
For estate planning, a simple will, Power of Attorney, and Advance Directive for Healthcare usually cost $1500 per person. Trusts and other work are an additional fee.
Expungements that can be accomplished via motion can often be resolved within 1-3 months from the date all records are received. Getting court records – especially if they are over 10 years old – can sometimes add months to this process, as we need those records for our motion. Unavailable or uncooperative prosecutors can also add months to this process, as we try to get them onboard in hopes we can avoid a hearing and keep the clients’ costs down.
Pardons take 6-9 months from the date they are submitted, and gathering the necessary pardon documentation often takes 2-3 months. Clients can expedite the documentation gathering process by being diligent in obtaining the required documents.
Probate cases are currently delayed because of COVID and court back-logs. These cases are taking a year or more, though administration can start within 1-2 months.
Estate planning documents are usually ready for review and signature within 3 weeks of submission of all necessary information.
Once we’ve gathered all the necessary information and determined your legal options and appropriate fees, we will send you paperwork for us to get started. Once we receive your paperwork and your fee, we will get started on your case.
We hope we can work with you to achieve the best result for your legal issue.
We look forward to talking with you!