How much do lawyers cost?
Depending on your location, the nature of your legal case, and the specific structure of billing, the rates of charges of an attorney can vary greatly. Attorneys often charge different amounts to different clients for similar legal matters. Some attorneys have different rates, while other attorneys operate on an hourly rate.
However, you still have to know how much an attorney can cost you in order to get a rough idea before proceeding further into your legal business.
Understanding the nature of your case
The very first question which you need to address is that which type of billing structure does your attorney use? Normally, attorneys bill as per their hours, which are spent on consultation. They can also bill based on contingency, retainer, or a flat fee structure.
The hourly rate is the simplest because this is just the rate which the attorney will charge you for one hour of their time. You may be able to receive compensation for the services of paralegals and other supporting staff.
Contingency means that the attorney will receive a specific percentage of the winning if your case is a civil case. However, contingency billing is only applicable for a certain amount of cases as per their nature.
A retainer means that you provide your attorney a lump sum of money so that they can get started on your case right at the moment. When the matter proceeds, additional charges can be added as per the need.
A flat fee is as simple as it sounds. This is when the attorney will upfront let you know that they will charge a certain sum of money which you pay for the complete handling of the case. This is quite a simple method and is applicable to almost all legal proceedings.
If you need to review further information regarding these, you can review it here. If you wish to lower the overall money which you will have to pay, you can read up on unbundling services too.
Once you completely understand the billing method of your attorney, you can have a significantly better understanding of how much the complete legal matter can cost you. If it’s a flat fee number, you will pay the simple amount. If it is on contingency, you do not have to pay anything until you receive the settlement offer. If it is a retainer, you have to go over the billing statement and ask the attorney to help you understand it.
In case it is an hourly rate billing method, you can simply ask the attorney about how much they charge for an hour of their time. However, you have to remember that the hourly rate stays fixed throughout the case. For this, you must sign a contract which can become a proof of the hourly rate that you and your attorney agree upon. Different legal matters come at different costs, which is why you first need to understand the nature of your case to understand how much you can possibly be charged for it.