What Kind of Lawyer's Fees Should I Expect?

Ken Black

The cost of an attorney can be significant for nearly any type of legal work, but knowing a few things about lawyer's fees could help save a significant amount of money. Doing a little research can help better understand what different attorneys may accept for lawyer's fees. However, it should be noted that any legal work will be somewhat expensive.

Lawyers may charge clients by an hourly rate.
Lawyers may charge clients by an hourly rate.

First, it is important to understand there is a wide range of costs between firms, and even within firms. This is because younger lawyers will generally charge less than full partners in a firm. However, it may also take these younger lawyers more time to research and prepare for a case. Still, in most cases, of hiring a younger lawyer will be very good. In many cases, for routine matters, these lawyers will be just as effective as the more expensive lawyers.

Some lawyers are willing to file a lawsuit on a contingency basis, meaning they are only paid if you win.
Some lawyers are willing to file a lawsuit on a contingency basis, meaning they are only paid if you win.

Where lawyer's fees really begin to add up is when court action is required. This is one reason why out-of-court settlements are so popular, as it saves a significant amount of money. Lawyer's fees are usually initially disclosed during the initial consultation, which may or may not be free. However, it should be noted many lawyer's fees do not change no matter what the task may be.

There are a number of different formats for lawyer's fees as well. Some may choose an hourly rate. This will make the final cost totally dependent on the hours invested by the attorney involved. Another category for lawyer's fees is a flat rate. This is usually not charged for court cases, but may be a popular choice for real estate closings, wills and other such actions. Contingency cases may be popular for personal injury lawsuits. In these situations, the fee is a percentage of the amount awarded or settled for. Many lawyers may use the phrase, "No recovery, no fee" to describe their structure in such cases.

With contingency situations, it should be noted those may only be offered in some cases where the attorney feels very good about the case. Therefore, many lawyers may be very selective about the cases they accept in this type of situation. Lawyers are professionals and their time is in high demand. Therefore, they are going to be very careful about spending time on a case for which there would be a high likelihood they would not be paid adequately. Contingency fee cases are generally more expensive to the person seeking legal services in the event of a recovery, because there is more risk to the lawyer.

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