what is a reasonable price to pay a lawyer

by Jovany Strosin Sr. 10 min read

Standard attorney fees can range from $250 an hour to $600 an hour, but their rates vary beyond this estimate based on their location and specialty. Standard legal fees for criminal cases and minor misdemeanors can cost you around $1,000, while complex divorce cases with custody battles can cost $5,000 or more.

Full Answer

How much does a lawyer cost per hour?

Jun 23, 2020 · A lawyer's hourly rate varies drastically based on experience, location, operating expenses, and even education. Attorneys practicing in rural areas or small towns might charge $100-$200 per hour. A lawyer in a big city could charge $200-$400 per hour.

What is a reasonable fee for an attorney?

Standard attorney fees can range from $250 an hour to $600 an hour, but their rates vary beyond this estimate based on their location and specialty. Standard legal fees for criminal cases and minor misdemeanors can cost you around $1,000, while complex divorce cases with custody battles can cost $5,000 or more. Standard lawyer percentage fees will vary according to the …

What do you need to know about law firm pricing?

Jul 14, 2020 · Typical hourly rates range from $100 per hour in more rural areas to $300+ in more metropolitan areas. Attorneys that have extensive experience or education in a particular area will usually charge more than the average hourly rate to compensate for their specialized knowledge.

How much does it cost to get legal advice?

Aug 13, 2009 · I suspect that some lawyers, who know better than to advertise their fees, would charge $900 for a simple will. Admittedly my fees tend to be on the low side, but I normally charge my clients $135 for a simple will in a situation like yours.


Do lawyers charge retainers?

Sometimes lawyers may charge a retainer if they find themselves in high demand. Other lawyers who work more quickly and efficiently may see no need for charging you a retainer fee. Call different lawyers in your area to see if retainers are standard practice for your particular case.

What is statutory fee?

A statutory fee is a payment determined by the court or laws which applies to your case. You'll encounter a fixed statutory fee when dealing with probate or bankruptcy, for example.

How to pay retainer fees?

Make sure that your contract includes the details of: 1 Contract – The agreement should list the total amount of any retainer deposit that you pay upfront. It should also state when you need to pay additional fees, if necessary. 2 Hourly Fee – Don't look only for the hourly rate of your lawyer on the agreement. Make sure you also see a description of the different hourly rates for each person who might contribute to your case. Ask for your payment schedule. Ask if you get a discount for early payment or if you pay penalties for late fees. 3 Contingency Fee – In a contingency case, the lawyer profits by the percentage they earn upon winning the case. The lawyer's contingency percentage and the payment-collection process should appear clearly outlined in your agreement. Sometimes, a lawyer will not collect any fees from you if they lose a contingency case, such as in personal injury disputes. In other situations, they may demand payment from their client only if they lose the case. 4 Costs of Suit – Check for clear terms to describe who pays for all of the different litigation costs involved. You should anticipate possible charges for court appearances and filing fees, hiring a private investigator, the cost of bringing in an expert witness, costs for officially serving and delivering legal documents, and travel fees.

What to ask when hiring an attorney?

When hiring your attorney, ask for a detailed written estimate of any expenses or additional costs. They may itemize each expense out for you or lump their fees all together under different categories of work. Lawyers may bill you for: Advice. Research.

What is contingency fee?

An attorney contingency fee is only typical in a case where you're claiming money due to circumstances like personal injury or workers' compensation. You're likely to see attorney percentage fees in these situations to average around a third of the total legal settlement fees paid to the client.

What are the expenses of a lawyer?

Clients may also be responsible for paying some of the attorney or law firm’s expenses including: 1 Travel expenses like transportation, food, and lodging; 2 Mail costs, particularly for packages sent return receipt requested, certified, etc; 3 Administrative costs like the paralegal or secretary work.

Do attorneys charge flat fees?

Attorneys are more willing to offer flat rates on well-defined tasks like basic contracts, uncontested divorce, and forming business entities. Flat rate legal fees are usually not an option for lawsuits and other more complex tasks that can quickly expand in scope .

What is flat rate legal fees?

Flat rate legal fees are when an attorney charges a flat rate for a set legal task. The fee is the same regardless of the number of hours spent or the outcome of the case. Flat rates are increasingly popular and more and more attorneys are willing to offer them to clients.

Why do attorneys get smaller cut?

For example, the attorney will usually obtain a smaller cut if a settlement was reached before trial – because less time and expense was expended – than if the case goes to trial. When contingency fees are used the fees and costs of the suit are often deducted from the monetary recovery before the percentage is taken.

What is contingency fee?

Contingency fees are only utilized where there is a dispute, otherwise there would be no objective way to determine whether the attorney had been successful. Contingency fees are most commonly available in automobile accident cases, medical malpractice cases, and debt collection cases.

Do attorneys have to be reasonable?

Attorneys typically have great discretion in deciding on what their fees will be. In most states and under ethical rules governing attorneys, the fees only need to be “reasonable.”. There is no black and white test for what is reasonable, instead a number of factors are considered.

How much does a retainer agreement cost?

A retainer agreement is an agreement under which the client agrees to pay the attorney a large sum up-front, usually ranging from $2,000 - $10,000 as essentially security for future payments.

Cathy Ann Wagner

I suspect you own more assets than just your townhome. Do you have bank accounts? A vehicle? A 401 (k)? You should consult with an attorney in person so the attorney can obtain ALL the relevant information. I would carefully consider whether or not to transfer your townhome to your children with a Quit Claim Deed.

Douglas M Turbak

I have seen lawyers' advertisements stating that their fee for a simple will is "$400", and I shudder. I suspect that some lawyers, who know better than to advertise their fees, would charge $900 for a simple will. Admittedly my fees tend to be on the low side, but I normally charge my clients $135 for a simple will in a situation like yours.

James P. Frederick

The first question you need to have answered is whether or not a Will is an appropriate estate planning tool to achieve your objectives. For most clients, avoiding probate is one of their priorities. A Will does not allow you to do this.

Paul N Heckt

I just met with a client who used Legalzoom.com instead of a live human being for a lawyer. His wife died and the family didn't read the cover letter, so they failed to disclaim within the 9 month period. As a result the two kids will pay a minimum of $100,000 in unnecessary Mn estate taxes. All to save a couple hundred bucks in attorneys fees.

What is effective law firm pricing?

For client-centered law firms, effective law firm pricing means pricing services from the clients’ point of view. But it also means the price needs to make sense for your firm. Price your services too high, and you may cut yourself off from many potential clients. Changing economic circumstances may make this even more important.

Can a lawyer collect an unreasonable fee?

Indeed, Rule 1.5 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct states that a lawyer may not collect an “unreasonable fee” or an “unreasonable amount for expenses.”. So, it’s important to make sure that fees make sense both from a business perspective and for your client.

Why is pricing important in law?

Law firm pricing is one of the most important aspects of running a legal practice. It affects how your clients see the value they get from your services, and whether they’ll hire you at all.

What is hourly pricing?

Hourly pricing. Hourly pricing is when you charge a set rate for all the time you spend working on a case. The traditional way to charge for legal services, hourly pricing may make sense for unpredictable types of matters such as lengthy criminal cases or long, drawn-out litigations.

What is flat fee?

Flat fee pricing is when you charge one set fee, say $1,000, for a certain legal service. Charging flat fees for legal services may make sense if you’re offering legal services that are similar and predictable. For example, you may want to charge a flat fee for an immigration application, a no-fault divorce, or a will.

What is contingent pricing?

Contingency pricing is when you charge a percentage of the client’s payout in their case, contingent on you obtaining a positive outcome in the case. This type of pricing is common in personal injury cases, for example.

What is sliding scale pricing?

Sliding scale pricing is when clients pay fees on a sliding scale based on their income, rather than a standard rate. This type of approach could be applied to hourly pricing or flat fees. This method of pricing could help your firm access more clients by making services more affordable.

Top 50 Highest Paying States for Lawyer Jobs in the U.S

We’ve identified seven states where the typical salary for a Lawyer job is above the national average. Topping the list is New York, with New Hampshire and Vermont close behind in second and third. Vermont beats the national average by 7.5%, and New York furthers that trend with another $13,750 (17.0%) above the $80,743.

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Examples of Reasonable Price in a sentence

Equity investment teams at the Investment Manager share a common investment approach, best described as Growth at a Reasonable Price (GARP).

More Definitions of Reasonable Price

Reasonable Price means the value of a grass seed kind, variety (or similar variety) and quality (or similar quality) during a time frame cor- responding with the date in which payment was due.

Is your lawyer charging too much?

Julie Ann Garber is a vice president at BMO Harris Wealth management, a CFP, and has 25 years of experience as a lawyer and trust officer. Julie Ann has been quoted in The New York Times, the New York Post, Consumer Reports, Insurance News Net Magazine, and many other publications.

Your Initial Meeting

Most estate planning attorneys don't charge a fee for the initial meeting, but this is by no means a universal rule. Don't be surprised if the attorney does charge a small fee for sitting down with you for the first time. It can go either way.

The Estate Planning Flat Fee

A set dollar amount typically covers the initial meeting—if you end up retaining the attorney's services—as well as preparation of basic documents, review of documents, and signing of documents.

Standard Hourly Rates

A flat fee is a composite of the attorney's standard hourly rate and how many hours he thinks he'll have to invest in your case to resolve it. Ask what that hourly rate is, and find out how much you'll be charged for the services of other attorneys and paralegals in the firm.

Meet by Telephone First

It's common these days to handle a significant amount of business by telephone. Consider setting up telephone interviews with at least two estate planning attorneys before meeting in person. This will save your time and the attorney's time...if she's willing.

Ask for Details

Ask an attorney who's going to charge you more than another exactly why his fee is so much higher. Some attorneys are in the business of selling estate plans in bulk, while others are truly interested in giving you a high-quality estate plan and becoming your advisor for life.

Trust Your Gut

Your goal shouldn't necessarily be to find the cheapest attorney. Think about how comfortable you feel with each, because you'll have to be open and honest when discussing the most intimate details of your personal life and finances with this individual. Sometimes you have to go with your instincts.

How much does a probate lawyer charge?

Small town rates may be as low as $150/hour; in a city, a rate of less than $200/hour would be unusual. Big firms generally charge higher rates than sole practitioners or small firms, unless a small firm is made up solely of hot-shot specialists.

How long does a lawyer bill?

Many lawyers bill in minimum increments of six minutes (one-tenth of an hour). So, if your lawyer (or a legal assistant) spends two minutes on a phone call on behalf of the estate, you'll be billed for six minutes.