How to Negotiate Legal and Professional Fees


Do you need to hire an attorney and are worried about their legal and professional fees? Not sure if your budget is big enough?

The good news, negotiating the fee isn’t as daunting as it sounds. With over 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S., there is a professional to meet every need from high to low-cost legal services.

This article explains the three ways attorneys bill their clients and shares practical tips to help you get the best price for their legal services.

Understand Your Legal and Professional Fees

There are three types of legal fees: hourly, flat, and contingency.

A flat fee is a set price for the work to be done. The hourly fee is the cost per hour for the time spent on the designated job. A contingency fee is where the attorney receives a percentage of the settlement.

Compare Rates

To make the most of your comparisons, talk to several attorneys. Find out how they bill and what is included or excluded from their fees.

Sweet Lawyers, who have been featured on CNN and USA Today, highlight these legal costs when working for a contingency fee – check out the article source. These costs include:

  • Office expenses such as court filing fees or postage
  • Professional fees for expert witnesses
  • Preparation work for jury selection

Ask the attorney about the merits of your case and the likelihood of success. Some may offer a lower legal fee if the chance of successful litigation is higher.

Don’t Forget These Considerations

During your consultations, did you feel more comfortable with one attorney over another? If so, it might make sense to pay a little more for that level of trust.

How familiar were they with your type of work? If it is new to them, they will need to do more research than someone who has experience in that field.

Tips to Help You Negotiate The Right Fees

The ideal time to negotiate is before any work is done. It will be very difficult to discuss changing fees once the work is underway and could harm the working relationship with your attorney.

Does the attorney offer limited scope representation? This could be helpful if you have a small budget and are prepared to do a lot of the work yourself.

How is the hourly fee computed? If billing in 15-minute increments, can it change to 6-minute blocks?

Is there work you can do to help the attorney? For example, photocopying or certain types of research?

Are contingency fees calculated before or after expenses? Do they offer a sliding scale depending on the value of settlement reached?

Can you set a limit on the fees, also known as a fee cap?

Many attorneys can also help with legal fees. Be open about your budget and financial situation.

The last step is to get your agreement in writing. This eliminates the chance of fee disputes.

Start Your Research Today

These tips will help you negotiate a fair price and understand how your legal and professional fees are calculated. You can start your research today by comparing a small activity like writing a will or a power of attorney.

Want more helpful financial articles? Keep reading through our blog!

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