Many law firms, including ours, advertise free initial consultations. What does this really mean? Many people think these firms are free, or pro bono, clinics just waiting to give you advice with no expectation of anything in return. That is not the case. Law firms are like any other business. They have overhead for salaries, benefits, rent, taxes, phones, internet access, copiers, etc. and need to make enough revenue to pay those things. The real reason that free initial consultations are offered is an inducement to try and get people or businesses to become a paying client of the law firm. It also helps to see if personalities and skill sets are a match. Bottom line: if you contact a law firm solely to ask for free advice, and the law firm's staff sees that you really have no intention of ever hiring them, they are not likely to respond to your requests. There are a limited number of legal aid clinics available but they have guidelines to determine whether you qualify for free representation. Keep these things in mind when deciding which lawyer or law firms to contact regarding your questions.