We get an average of 150-200 queries through our portal a day.
Lets break it down.
There will be requests from widows for succession certificates which we will promptly allow a 50% discount on.There are plenty of women going through domestic abuse who we will guide accordingly.Sometimes there will be women who are poor and their children have been snatched by in-laws.Occasionally there will also be a heart broken father whose wife has taken the children and moved to their rich maternal grandparents house.In all these cases, I will write best wishes and some tips on the legal way out for querent.
Then there will be requests from A level and LLB students for internships …..
Occasionally there will be unsolicited emails from lawyers searching for jobs.Lawyers will also send requests to get full lists of case laws on certain topics, which in my view is unethical as they are not prepared to do their independent legal research for clients and also to buy a rather affordable membership of www.Pakistanlawsite.com
Then there are interesting yahoo and gmail based IDs from people claiming to represent governments and private companies.Once we question their status as official representatives and request a proper email through an email address of the organisation they claim to belong to, they disappear.
And then there are requests from people to review a case or matter for which they have already asked others around ten times.Sometimes a person writes one query and emails around the entire law firm network in Pakistan, expecting an email back from all of them.So basically, such a person expects ten or so lawyers to invest their energy on research and review on their opinion and email him back, free of cost.Such an unrealistic attitude can only get people so far, and often such emails are ignored by law firms.
At a lunch with a few fellow lawyers last week, we got news that we had all been advising the same person ‘who was dying of cancer’ and needed free legal consultation over his nephew being detained for theft and terrorism.Yes, lawyers can be ‘cat-fished’ too!One of our naive colleagues had even sent a donation to the imposter out of sympathy.After a while and a lot of angry emails calling him, none of us heard back from him.
In Pakistan, people can barely get enough of free stuff.Then again,I may be wrong as the attraction to free stuff can be a universal phenomena.
I remember offering a Pro Bono Advice programme a few years back and we had a flood of people who had adequate means to pay for legal fees and even expensive trips to Europe, barging in to get free advice as they ‘didn’t trust their current lawyer’.This is the other problem with people in Pakistan.They don’t trust their current lawyers and doctors and must get a third, fourth and fifth free opinion.Long story short we discontinued the programme and moved on to ‘free initial consultation’.
As of 2019, after making a lot of changes to our management, work structure and how we process requests for services, we have placed a simple fee for consultation for all people looking for second opinions and even first opinions.
I could go on about this.But I am a Pakistani too and I do sometimes love free stuff .But perhaps only to the extent where I can get free noodles in a saving pack of Milk Cartons.I do not trust anyone giving me a free opinion.In fact if I didn’t pay them, I would not be able to come back and hold them to account what they have said if I have been misguided.
Paying a consultation fee and therefore starting a proper client-lawyer relationship with a law firm can save you from many problems later on, as long as you can trust the people you are approaching.Then again, when we have an accident and are passed out, we place our trust in the doctors in the emergency units to save our lives.A good lawyer can also save your life, but only if you trust them enough.
So people, friends, brothers and sisters, before you send a email to this website, there are actual humans sitting here like you.They have to pay bills and take care of their bread and butter too.The entire website costs a lot for its presence in cyberspace.The reason legal services and medical services have become a joke in Pakistan is because our country loves getting plentiful free advice.However free advice is not always accurate or good advice.It may not even be well-researched, well-informed or rational.A stitch in time saves nine and ninety more.Why not avail a less costly paid consultation now rather than lose money and peace of mind over bad free legal advice later? Just a thought.