What to Expect at the Initial Consultation:
You provide me with COPIES of your child’s educational records, in advance of the Consultation;
I will review the records thoroughly, in advance of the Consultation;
During the Initial Consultation, I will meet with you for approximately 1 hour (or longer if other arrangements are made) to discuss your child, identify the legal issues involved and explore his or her legal options;
One of the advantages of working with a solo practitioner like myself is that during the Initial Consultation, I personally sit with you, privately, to discuss your concerns about your child, in the intimacy of one of two conference rooms in my building (one located in my personal Suite). Should you retain my services thereafter, rest assured that I personally will perform all legal work on your child's case. Feel confident knowing that no young associate or less familiar senior attorney will handle your matter. When you work with the law office of Patricia S. Phelan, you work directly with me;
Please keep in mind that while I may give you my opinion as to factors bearing on the strength or weakness of your child's case, I cannot guarantee any particular result for your child;
A large advantage of participating in an Initial Consultation together is that you gain a sense of how I work, and I learn a little about what it might be like to work with you. I believe strongly that hiring an attorney is about finding the right match. Who do you want to represent you and your child? How do you want them to present themselves, and your case? The Initial Consultation gives both of us an oppotunity to find out if we are the right match for one another;
There is a flat payment for this Consultation, including all of the services listed above, with the only possible exception being if the duration of the consultation exceeds the 1 hour time allotment, which is totally up to you!
Payment for the Consultation, by cash or check, is expected at the time of the Consultation.
Where does the Initial Consultation take place?
Usually, the Initial Consultation takes place directly in the privacy of my Office Suite, #221, at 99 Main Street, Nyack, NY 10960.
If we want or need a larger conference area, or if you prefer to meet on the main floor rather than the second (although an elevator
is available, in addition to the steps), we can meet in the building's large conference room on the main floor, next to the
reception area. In either case, when you come to the Office, enter the building up the ramp on Main Street. Using the large keyboard
on the front of the building to the right of the door, follow the directions provided (press "221#" for my Suite number). After
I buzz you in, unless I am waiting for you near the door on the main floor, please have a seat in the reception area to your right
after you entered the building; I will be out to meet you shortly.
Shall I bring my child to the Initial Consultation?
This is a personal decision. There is no obligation or need to bring your child to the initial consultation. Sometimes, in fact,
it is easier for parents to concentrate if they do not bring their child.
Nevertheless, some parents chose to bring their child due to childcare or logistical difficulties, or, because they want me to observe their child’s level of functioning. Mindful that if you chose to bring your child to the consultation, my child-friendly Office has toys and activities to keep your child busy while, you remain available to concentrate on understanding the legal issues involved in your child's case, and explore how to advocate for your child’s special education needs.
Even if I do not meet your child during the Consultation, there will be plenty opportunities for me to meet him or her after we start working together.
When will we discuss your fee arrangement?
During the Initial Consultation, I will also review with you my standard fee agreement and answer any questions about it that you may have. Following the Consultation, you will have the opportunity to formally retain my Practice to represent you and your child. My formal representation begins once I receive from you both a signed standard fee agreement and the initial retainer payment.