Lawyers costs money. They are highly trained professionals, and anyone who wants to employ them must be willing to pay a significant amount of money. If you are defending yourself against a criminal charge, are going through a divorce, or are involved in a civil dispute, a good lawyer such as those found out Potts lawyers is indispensable. However, there are ways to save money.
7 uncommon ways to save on legal fees
It is commonly believed that lawyers charge excessively high rates. Your legal bill contains more than the expertise employed by your lawyer. It will also include the cost of them renting an office, paying support staff, operating their firm, and other expenses. The fees you pay are negotiable. Here are 7 ways to save money:
1. Negotiate alternative fee arrangements
The hourly rate basis is the most common billing arrangement. Most lawyers record their time in units of 6 minutes. It is important to realize that lawyers work on numerous cases simultaneously. Yours is but one case they must work on in a given day. If you are strapped for cash, you should try to settle the fee arrangement before you sign the contract with your lawyer.
One option is to do a fixed fee. This is the best option in that it will allow you to define and limit the scope of the work and come to an understanding of how much it will cost. The lawyer you hire may also be open to a contingency or success fee. This is common with personal injury lawyers. They will only accept money if they win the case—and they will only accept cases they know they can win, or at least get a decent settlement offer. There is also the possibility of a capped fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer will agree to the number of hours they will put into the case ahead of time.
2. Review lawyer leverage ratios
The seniority of the lawyer working on your case matters. The rates for a senior partner are much higher than those for a 1st year associate. If your case requires a minimum amount of experience and expertise, then you should question who will be assigned to work on it.
3. Monitor internal requests for legal services
You need to structure and manage the time you spend with your attorney, and you need to monitor how your attorney spends time on your case. For example, spending an hour with your lawyer dealing with all the matters related to your case is much more cost-effective than speaking with them in a series of short phone calls. You must also ensure that your lawyer is not breaking up their work on your case in a way that leads to higher charges.
4. Settle rather than litigate
If you are involved in a civil case, your lawyer will first try to settle matters out of court. This is the most cost-effective way to resolve such a legal dispute. Even if negotiations drag on for months, it still a lot cheaper than going through litigation. The latter will involve costs and expenses that can exceed your ability to pay.
5. Challenge questionable charges
The firm you hired to represent you should provide an itemized list of every charge. If your case lasts for more than a month, then you should receive or request monthly statements that lay out the expenses. It is your right to challenge items that don’t look right. Questionable charges may include things such as time spent leaving a voice message or a large expense for instigating a process that was not necessary and that you were never informed of.
6. Negotiate additional costs
You should be clear from the outset on what costs are covered by the fee arrangement. If court fees, investigation fees, and expert report costs are charged in addition to the legal fee, then you should be told about this in advance. Costs such as photocopying and postage are considered by most law firms to be part of operating costs and will thus be included in the standard legal fees.
7. Shop around
Don’t go with the first law firm that you speak to. Do some research. Learn what is required to resolve your case, and then find a firm that is willing to charge a reasonable amount of money to get it done.