Will You Always Be Needed?
Sooner or later, it’s imperative to hire legal representation. Whether the case is criminal, malpractice, or personal injury, it will behoove anyone to hire proficient legal representation. With people hiring you, you will always be needed for your professional skills.
Different Fee Arrangements
Fees varies among legal representation. If differs due to the experience level of the lawyer, whether or not the lawyer is specialized in one field or another, and whether or not the attorney is within a rural or small area or in a big city. Also, the fee arrangements for most civil cases could be paid by the hour, through a flat fee, a retainer, a contingency fee, or a combination of any of these arrangements. In rural and small towns, attorneys’ fees could be $100 to $200 per hour for experienced lawyers, and the fees could be $200 to $400 per hour for experienced lawyers in big metropolitan locations. The hourly rate tends to be more for experienced lawyers within a specialty as well.
Details on the Other Fee Arrangements
A flat fee is normally applied to simple cases that are well-defined, such as wills, easy bankruptcy filing, and uncontested divorces. It’s important to find out the details of what the flat fee will and will not cover. A retainer is an advance payment from the client to the attorney for their services. With this payment arrangement, the cost of services are deducted from the retainer fee. The contingency fee is no upfront payment. In this case, the attorney is billing the client a percentage of the money judgement or settlement won in the case. This fee is normally applied for automobile accident lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, other personal injury claims, and debt collection cases.
Pro Bono or Low-cost Legal Representation
Legal fees are really expensive, and many times clients with low income can’t afford them. Because of this, there are attorneys who will provide services for Pro-Bono, aka free, or at a low cost. Very affordable, legal representation can be done with the hiring of a paralegal, for instance. With this, the cost is a lot smaller portion of prices normally associated with other legal representation. At Washburn University, for instance, they have law clerks that will assist clients on their cases as well as represent them in court. They will do all of this for very affordable prices. Also, this college has some school of law online resources to assist clients for self-help legal purposes.
Other Important Things to Note
Many times, lawyers have a law firm billing software. Many of them are great management tools for law offices to manage billing; however, they are subject to error sometimes. Some complaints from law offices concerning the law firm billing software include it not fitting the scope of the law office’s needs, not enough customer support, the legal billing software doesn’t keep up with the lawyer’s fees, the software being too difficult to use, and insufficient training in using the legal billing software. Because of these situations, it’s crucial to keep up with receipts and records of payment. That way, if something comes up, you can show proof that certain amounts are already paid.
It’s always important to know the details of the fees. Get the details of the fine print containing possibly other fees, such as court costs, filing fees, delivery charges, and more. With all of these extras in fine print on top of the issues with law firm billing software, fees can really mount up. However, you will remain in control of your legal fees when staying abreast of all the details.