When we asked our legal network how clients should evaluate legal fees, we received a wide array of responses and advice. Some explained that legal fees are based on what the firm can afford to charge based on their traffic, while others claimed that increased legal fees could mean that the lawyer has more experience. Either way, everyone agreed that hiring a legal professional is like any other purchase, do your research before you sign a contract or start work with a lawyer.
More money does not ensure that you will win your case. However, sometimes spending more on legal fees can result in better prepared cases with more senior attorneys. The best way to spend your money effectively and save money in the end is by hiring a lawyer that you are confident in, and who can get you the best result. Again, take the time to investigate the appropriate lawyer for your case. While looking for the right lawyer, you should be simultaneously preparing all documents you may need once the attorney is hired. This prep work can save time, which means saving money on legal fees.
Diane Drain explains,
“As with all purchases for services or product – “buyer beware”. Price does not reflect value or competence. The buyer needs to do their due diligence as to the attorney or other professional. Ask for references, ask informed questions as to competence and experience, ask about anticipated fees and any other relevant questions.”
In other words, be confident in whom you are hiring to work on your legal case. There should be no surprises with fees or their competence if you do a proper investigation prior to hiring.
Zachary B Setzer points out,
“Not only will you save money by being involved, but you are often the most qualified person to do particular tasks related to your legal matter. For example, if you are getting a divorce and there are matters of child support, child custody, alimony, and property division involved in your case, you are the only person who can supply the attorney with accurate information regarding the marital history, finances, property, etc. You have to do a lot of homework in order for your attorney to be fully informed and prepared to do his job. If you don’t do it, not only will your attorney’s fees increase as they try to do it for you, but your case will suffer as they will be unable to do it as well as you could do it yourself.”
Attorney Setzer makes it clear that the attorney cannot do their job well without an involved client. Attorneys can never know as much as their client about the issue at hand. It is vital to bring detailed information to the table to help win your case and save money by making your attorney’s job easier.
Shari Shore adds,
“There are a variety of online resources available where you can try to obtain answers to your legal questions, but in most cases, you can call an attorney and have at least a free 15 minute consultation if you want to make sure that you are understanding something before you take action on it yourself.”
Online resources can serve to guide you in some of your legal questions, but the most reliable option is to speak to an attorney, which is initially free as any firms offer free consultations.
In the end, to keep legal fees at bay, it is entirely up to the client. Through research and preparing your case, you can save a great deal of time and money and see great success in your legal case. Above all, spend your money on a lawyer who you are confident in.