What Should I Expect to Pay an Attorney?
For most of us, there will come a time when we will need attorney services. We may need their professional services when we buy a property, close a business deal, adopt a child, file for divorce, or when we need someone to defend us in courts.
When we need legal advice, we will have the need to discuss many things. We may discuss the steps that need to be taken, what legal actions to pursue, etc. The one thing that we often avoid discussing as the client and as the attorney are the attorney services fees.
Despite the fact that professional fees for attorney services are necessary, it’s often awkward to talk about them. This is especially true in sensitive cases. But, as the one hiring an attorney, you need to know more about attorney services fees so there are no unexpected costs.
Know the Correct Attorney Services Fees
As you will be the one to hire and therefore pay for the services, knowing the current market rate for such services will be important. Legal or attorney services fees vary according to where the services are being performed. Here are the three most important things that you have to consider when deciding what amount should be fair enough as fees for your attorney.
1. Decide on how much money you can afford. As the client, you know how much you can afford. And you should relay that to the attorney you wish to retain. In most cases, if you can’t afford the current fees, you may choose to use the service of public attorneys. They usually have lower rates. Just the same, you need to determine how much money you have and if you can pay the attorney’s regular rates.
2. Understand the kind of services needed. You should also know whether you will need an expert attorney in a certain field. Most fees are based on the level of expertise needed in a legal service or how much work is involved.
3. The usual rate for the type of service. Appraising how much money you will need as payment for attorney services will usually depend on the type of service rendered. Hence, it is important that you’d be able to distinguish what type of services you need. It is also important that you know the current rate for the type of service that you need.
When deciding about the attorney services fees, it is also vital that you plan on what type of fee arrangement you will offer. This is also a factor when deciding how to pay your attorneys. You will need to decide whether you will pay him/her a flat rate, hourly rate or contingency fee.
A contingency fee means you will pay your attorney a certain percentage on any amount that you will get should you win a case; for example, settlement fee for divorce or child custody. You will have to discuss how much you will possibly get and what percentage the fee will be.
If a flat rate is the method chosen, the attorney will determine the total fee that you will have to pay. Other expenses such as photocopying, etc are computed as a flat rate. Hourly rates will typically be computed based on the hours spent by your attorney on the case or proceedings.