What You Should Know About the Cost of a Lawyer

Hiring legal counsel is rarely a pleasant thing. Sometimes, you only need a lawyer to look over a contract to ensure it’s legit. Other times, you’re preparing for a potentially stressful and arduous court process.

Whether your legal counsel is for a one-off occasion or a lengthy process, you want to make sure you hire the best. The problem most people face is simple: what, they ask, is the cost of a lawyer?

The answer to this question varies. Lawyers charge different rates from one another. Furthermore, the cost of a business’ legal counsel will differ from the cost of personal counsel.

To help you navigate this confusion, we’ve written this brief introduction to how legal fees work. Read on to learn more!

First, Schedule a Consultation

If you need a lawyer, the first thing to do is schedule a consultation. Often, lawyers offer a free consultation with prospective clients. The purpose of this consultation is to bring your case to the lawyer so they can decide whether they want to take it.

Most lawyers offer free consultations, but others charge a fee for their consultations. Those lawyers that charge a fee generally do so at a flat rate. By law, lawyers must inform you of any fees they charge, so be sure to ask up front whether a consultation is free before you schedule it.

Cost of a Lawyer: What Are Their Fees?

The consultation is only the first step in hiring a lawyer. Once they agree to take your case, they may charge you any number of fees. In this section, we’ll break down the typical fees you see from a lawyer.

Hourly Rate

The hourly rate is the most common arrangement for paying a lawyer. Lawyers who opt for this arrangement normally keep track of their work by a fraction of the hour.

For example, if you call your lawyer for fifteen minutes with a question, he’ll log those minutes and add them until he reaches an hour figure. If you’re wondering what the rate may be, that depends on the lawyer. You can expect it to be at least 100 dollars/hour.

Contingency Fees

This is common for cases involving personal injury (learn more at Sweetlaw.com) or medical malpractice. Essentially, in these cases, the lawyer’s pay is based on what you win in a settlement.

Should you win the case, a set percentage of your money will pay for a lawyer. Typically, most lawyers charge 1/3 of the settlement money. If you lose the case, the lawyer gets nothing. However, you are required to pay any expense they took out for the case.

Retainer Fees

These fees are essentially deposits that you pay as the client to prove to the lawyer you can pay for their services. This fee is based on the hourly rate and secured in a trust account.

Call For a Consultation

If you need a lawyer, then you should go for the best your budget can afford. To determine the cost of a lawyer, schedule a consultation with one today. Make sure to focus on lawyer contracts and lawyer pay in your meeting!

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