How and how much will my attorney charge me?

Hiring legal aid is practical. Lawyers are almost always required to have malpractice insurance. Of course, lawyers must also complete a seven-year training course after graduating from high school and have passed the “bar exam”.

As with hiring people with credentials, there is a cost. There are a few main methods of determining legal fees.

Most lawyers charge clients for lawyers’ time. This hourly rate structure requires an attorney to charge an hourly fee of between $ 75 and $ 750 (for our region) per hour for the time the attorney spends on a client’s work. Understandably, the hourly rates for experienced lawyers are usually higher than those for less experienced lawyers. Most lawyers charge a lower hourly rate for the time invested by their paralegals and administrative assistants.

Many attorneys no longer charge fees for photocopying or using long distance calls or faxes. However, the time spent making phone calls, faxes, and emails is usually billed as part of a law firm’s hourly rate.

In most cases, attorneys can charge their clients a conditional fee related to personal injury. This conditional fee can range from 25% to 45% of the amount collected for that customer. This structure essentially means that the more the client receives, the more the lawyer gets. Lawyer ads claiming “I don’t get paid until you get paid” explain conditional fee agreements. If the attorney does not get money back for the client in these agreements, the client may still have to pay someone other than the attorney, e.g. B. Experts, court clerks and registration fees.

Conditional billing is usually not allowed for many domestic matters (divorce, etc.) and criminal matters. Therefore, an attorney cannot set the fee at $ 5,000 if the client is found not guilty and only at $ 500 if the client is found guilty.

Some companies offer subscription-based services that are offered to company employees. Usually there is a limit on the amount of work that can be provided free of charge to employees of companies that have this agreement in place.

Many lawyers charge a flat fee for the work. For example, a will can cost anywhere from $ 150 to $ 750. This is most common in transactional matters such as estate planning, real estate, and estate / estate administration. The larger and more complex the transaction, the higher the flat fee.

Many lawyers will ask for a guardian or bail to begin work. Until an attorney does the work to earn the guardian, the attorney cannot deposit this retention money into the attorney’s personal bank account. Instead, the attorney must keep the keeper’s money in a separate account monitored by the Ohio Supreme Court until the agent’s covered work is paid for.

Lawyers can attempt to provide estimates of the total cost of a project. However, especially in the case of legal disputes, the total amounts are often difficult to estimate in advance, as it is often impossible to know the expectations and determination of the opposing parties.

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning, and agriculture topics in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended as legal advice and the licensed attorney of your choice should seek specific advice based on the specific facts and circumstances you may encounter.

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