How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?

How Attorneys Set Their Fees

There are no globally set fees or rates for attorney services. The prices will vary dramatically. Generally, legal fees are established through oral or written agreement between client and attorney, and will take into consideration:

  • Your ability to pay
  • The type of case with its specific requirements
  • The attorney's experience, ability, and reputation
  • The time spent on your legal needs
  • The costs for necessary third-party services (paralegals, investigators, etc.)

Commonly, there are four types of payment methods. The case or required work will often determine which fee arrangement is applied.

  1. Fixed fee: a set payment (usually one-time) for known and common attorney services such as incorporation, wills, consultation, or contracts.
  2. Hourly rate: a total fee that is determined by the attorney's number of work hours (varying according to the attorneys hourly charge rate).
  3. Contingent fee: a percentage of any amount awarded to the client if the lawsuit is successful (in addition to out-of-pocket costs for prosecuting the litigation).
  4. Retainer: a down payment (from which the charges that accrue as the work progresses are deducted).

What Should I Expect From My Lawyer?

What to expect from your attorney

There are numerous reasons to hire a lawyer today, and each legal issue has its own requirements and nuances; however, regardless of the case or the attorney, you can and should expect them to meet the following qualifications:

  • Discuss their rates and fees, and come to a payment agreement before or during your first visit
  • Help you understand your legal needs
  • Listen to and analyze all relevant facts
  • Meet/interview all parties involved
  • Keep you informed as your case ensues
  • Answer your questions
  • Be honest with you about your legal needs and probability of success.
  • Honor your attorney-client confidentiality

What Will My Lawyer Expect From Me?

What your attorney should expect from you

No two attorneys operate in the exact same manner, but once you've retained your attorney, just as you'll expect professionalism and their best efforts, they will expect your cooperation in a few ways: 

  • Be on time to scheduled meetings
  • Respect the their time within meetings
  • Share all facts relevant to your case with full honesty, even if they're unfavorable
  • Understand that no attorney can guarantee any outcome within a contested case
  • Understand that your case will most likely require time and patience
  • Pay all established fees

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

When do you need a lawyer

While you are never required by law to acquire an attorney (lawyer), it is highly recommended whenever dealing with the court system, lawsuits, or when unsure of state or federal law. Legislation is constantly evolving and changing every category of law, which can leave unwary individuals susceptible to either criminal or civil liability. Put simply, most life-altering decisions or occurrences are regulated by law, and while you may be eager to save money, you should never wait to hire an attorney. If you wait, it could cost you much more than finances.

How to choose your lawyer

When choosing your attorney, you'll want to ensure their areas of practice align with your legal needs. There are many categories within the law. Before retaining an attorney, remember to verify that they practice within the area of law relevant to your legal situations. It should be as simple as a phone call or visiting their website.

At Welton Law Firm, our attorneys specialize as General Practitioners, meaning we focus on a large variety of law. You can schedule an appointment with us or see our Areas of Practice and let us fulfill your legal needs today.