Frequently Asked Questions | Atticus

FAQ

What happens after I submit my case online?

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A lawyer on our team reviews it and reaches out by phone, email, or text (whichever you choose). If it’s obvious what you should do, we’ll explain it and offer to connect you with the right help immediately. If you have a number of different options, we’ll discuss their pros and cons, answer your questions, then work with you to make the right decision.

Let's say I need a lawyer. How do you find me the right one?

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If you’ve got a need we’ve never served before, a member of our staff will work personally to find you the right lawyer to handle it. That typically involves consulting with attorneys in our network, interviewing prospective candidates, checking their references, or evaluating their past work. It’s a lot like what a lawyer in your family might do for you — if they really cared about you and were an expert in evaluating lawyer quality.

If you’ve got a need we have served before, it gets better. By going through the above process over and over, we’ve built a unique database of attorneys, which we constantly fine-tune by gathering data to show which ones have been best-liked and most effective for past clients. When you come to us, we tap into that database to find you a lawyer whose quality we’ve verified and who’s already earned rave reviews from past clients — and we do it very quickly.

In other words: If you live in Carmel and need a lawyer who specializes in fine art law, we’re probably going to do a fairly involved search and get back to you with options. If you live in Los Angeles and need a lawyer who handles auto accidents, we probably know the exact right person and can connect you almost immediately.

How is Atticus different from other services that connect people with legal help?

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First, we work with you to understand your situation, and give you genuine legal advice about what to do. Second, if you need a lawyer, we search a broad network and hand-select one that’s talented, ethical, and right for your budget through a rigorous screening process. Third, if you don’t need a lawyer (or qualify for a free one), we’ll tell you so, and help you choose the best path — which could be going to a nonprofit, using a low-cost online service, or even doing nothing.

It’s hard to believe, but other types of services don’t do any of these things. In fact, bar-licensed lawyer referral services, lawyer review websites, and so-called lawyer matching platforms are all prohibited by law from helping you in these ways. They can’t give you legal advice or help you figure out what to do. They can’t screen lawyers or refer you to a specific one that’s right for your case. (In fact, they typically have to accept any lawyer who meets the government’s minimum qualifications, and assign each client to the next one in line). And they don’t usually help you find anything other than private, fee-charging lawyers.

We didn’t feel comfortable sending our friends and family to any of these places. That’s why we started Atticus. Because we’re licensed as a law firm, we can avoid these restrictions and offer you genuine, useful help. We don’t know of a single other service that works the way we do and serves all areas of consumer law.

Is Atticus really free? How do you make money?

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There’s only one way we fund our service: if we connect you with a private lawyer or other form of paid help, and you choose to hire them, we typically take a percentage of the money they earn from your case. (You don’t pay anything extra as a result; we just get a portion of the amount that they would have charged you anyway.) Other than that, our service is completely free from start to finish. We don’t charge for our advice, and we never will.

What if I can't afford a lawyer?

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You're not alone — lawyers are expensive. We regularly serve clients for whom the cost of hiring a private lawyer is simply too much, or isn't justified for their case. We’ll help you explore all your options, including free and low-cost ones, and decide what’s right for you.

Options vary hugely based on your situation. In many types of cases, we can help you qualify for free aid from a non-profit organization or the government. In others, we can help you find a lawyer who’s willing to take a cut of the amount you win rather than an up-front fee. In some times of cases (like contested divorces), there are very few free lawyers, but we can point you toward free self-help resources and weigh the pros and cons of representing yourself. And worst case, we can find you the most affordable lawyer available, or attempt to negotiate a discount.

What kinds of cases or clients do you serve?

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If you’re seeking help for yourself or a friend, we can almost certainly handle it. We don’t take on corporations as clients, and we don’t serve needs that are fundamentally related to business (like incorporating a company or filing a copyright). Other than that, we deal with pretty much anything.