I have a virtual law office that allows me the ability to work with clients from all over California--not just San Francisco and Solano Counties. I provide legal services in the areas of divorce and family law, consumer law (to include creditor lawsuit/debt issues, distressed (MHA-HAMP-based) residential mortgaged properties), and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The online virtual forum affords me the ability to provide reasonable pricing to my clients resulting from low overhead. And, if you are in my neck of the woods, I am able to meet with you in my San Francisco office or convenient coffee shop.
I take pride in exceeding my client's expectations. A typical case or caller of mine is one who is dealing with family-law issues such as divorce and/or custody issues and is also heavily burdened by debt or financial crisis and doesn't know where to turn. My goal for each of my prospective clients is to be their safe-harbor. For instance, before I take anyone as a client, I first (and always) determine whether they NEED my legal services; and if so, to what degree. In today's volatile and unpredictable market, a typical client's legal problems are not only overwhelming, but complicated. My typical case is not typical--and, as a result, each solution is custom-tailored to the client's unique situation--taking into account their family-law problem, their age, employment situation, housing situation, their finances, and so much more.What makes my law office unique is my ability to offer both full-scope and limited scope (unbundled) legal services via a virtual law platform. The benefit of unbundled/limited-scope services is that I am able to provide legal services for the individual who cannot afford to hire attorney to fully represent their legal needs. Common limited-scope/unbundled services include, but are not limited to: 1) legal coaching services; 2) consultatons; 3) assistance with document preparation, 4) court-appearances. Limited-scope services are a wonderful alternative for those needing legal assistance, but without the funds to pay for full-scope legal services.My virtual online platform afford me the ease and ability to provide both full-scope and limited-scope legal services by communicating with my clients via a secure online portal in order to ensure all communications are kept private and confidential.
Yes, up to 30 minutes
Yes. Fixed fees are the only way I work. Mention Nolo and you'll receive a 15% discount on full representation. Not applicable to limited-scope legal services such as consultations or coaching fees. My 2010 hourly rate is $310/hour; Chapter 7 begins at $1,500 and generally does not exceed $1,500 (not including costs associated with filing Petition).
$310 per hour. Discount rates for senior citizens and low-income individuals.
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
I feel I have a natural calling for it. It's a perfect fit for my personality. For instance, a few hours ago, after I completed a two hour consultation with a couple over the phone, the wife emailed me to thank me and told me she and her husband "hugged each other after we hung up." This couple has been in marital counseling as a result of the marital and debt problems. I'm selfish in the sense that a client's satisfaction and gratitude regarding my legal services are very important to me. That sort of gratitude is priceless!
I not only strongly SUPPORT clients educating themselves on legal issues, but strongly ENCOURAGE them--in any area of law, e.g., bankruptcy, family law, creditor issues, etc. The more educated and informed the prospective client is, the better they are able to help themselves--with or without an attorney. For instance, at the conclusion of every consultation, I ALWAYS refer the client to Nolo's wonderful library of books. As Nolo knows by now, I am one of their biggest fans. I personally have been purchasing their books even before law school. My first purchase was the "Tenant's Rights" (12th Edition, published in 1996). I also purchased in 1993 the "How to Do Your Own Divorce in California" before I hired an attorney--the book helped me find the right attorney and negotiate the best settlement. The importance of using Nolo's books is that it empowers the consumer to attempt to deal with the legal issue(s) on their own first before paying money (that they don't have to begin with) to an attorney. So, whenever I get a caller who can't afford an attorney--for bankruptcy, family law, etc., I ALWAYS direct them first to Nolo's website. Bottom line: educating one's self on legal issues is an absolute necessity in this day and age. Another option I provide some clients is legal coaching--where they do all the work, but I answer their questions and coach them through the process. My philosophy is that not everyone needs an attorney to represent them, but every client needs an attorney to at least point them in the right direction. For many, that's all that's needed.
100% willing. Period.
100% willing. In fact, I prefer to coach clients--especially those who don't have the funds to hire an attorney to fully represent them--which is about 95% of the time!
Yes! A perfect example of such a situation is where a client wishes to discuss a settlement proposal as offered by the spouse or the spouse's legal counsel. For personal reasons, the client is not wishing to make known that they are speaking with an attorney. The confidential meeting enables my client to make an informed decision about the settlement proposal without "rocking the boat" on sensitive negotiations. Then, later, if it turns out, the client needs full-scope representation (should negotiations break down), I am able to provide full-scope legal representation;and in some cases, change the scope of my limited scope services to include negotiations on behalf of my client. (This means I negotiate directly with the attorney, not my client.)
Besides being a virtual law office, the fact that I also provide limited-scope (unbundled) legal services. In this format, I provide "as needed" legal services to my clients. For example, maybe all my client needs is for me to answer a lot of legal questions for them; or, my client needs me to only explain and/or coaching them through the process of filing for divorce (or responding to a motion for custody and/or support). My law practice is designed to meet my client's financial needs--not the other way around.
Honestly? My own divorce, as well as my legal issues as a single parent. I personally understand what many of my client's have gone through in connectoin with their family-law matter-to include the emotional aspect of divorce and family law.
In addition to family and divorce law, I have been practicing other areas of law that compliment family and divorce law. These areas include consumer law, Chapter 7 bankruptcy) and probate (to include guardianships, trusts, conservatorships). This unbrella-type of legal experience helps me to more thoroughly "diagnose" my client's legal needs.
My work, education, and life experiences have taught me that everyone is fundamentally good. My experiences have taught me that you can't judge a person on the outside and that it's vitally important to understand each and every individual, even if their facts look similar to their neighbors. Having experienced my own divorce in 1995, post-divorce financial issues, and my home also being "upside down," I sympathize and can relate to my clients' situations. These experiences make me a better attorney all around. While there are attorneys out there who may have more legal experience than I do, there is no attorney out there who cares more than I do. I promise you.
My style is comfortable and timeless--take care of your clients and they will take care of you. My strength is my compassion and genuine concern.Personal interests:
My family, gardening, cooking, watching old movies and my Yorkshire Terriers.Visit my website at www.lindaCgarrettlaw.com to learn more about me.
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