"A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade."

To explain why they charge for their time, lawyers often use this quote by Abraham Lincoln. However, a lawyer is not really selling his time - he is selling a solution to a problem. This is why my law firm regularly charges consultation fees to potential estate planning clients. The information and counseling provided following discussion of an individual's particular needs and circumstances opens the doorway to solutions that are tailor made for that potential client. This represents value to the individual in exchange for which an attorney is entitled to compensation.

This quote also applies to online consultations or responses to questions by electronic communications (email and text messages). A lawyer may spend minutes and even hours answering a "quick" question or the smallest inquiry about a matter and the sender may not even realize that the response involves knowledge, thought (sometimes research), time to reduce the answer to writing and review before hitting send.

As a convenience, I offer easy pre-payment of consultations by credit/debit card.