How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

The answer to this question, like so many legal questions, is “it depends.” There are three common arrangements for hiring and compensating attorneys.

  1. Hourly Rates: The most common way lawyers are compensated is by agreeing to be paid a certain hourly rate for time spent on the client matter. Hourly rates can vary depending on practice area, years of experience, and the difficulty of the particular matter at hand. For both the client and attorney, it is important to have a good understanding of what hourly rates are being charged and how much time a given matter is likely to require.
  2. Contingency Fees: Contingency fee arrangements are structured so that an attorney is paid out of funds obtained from the opposing party. This type of fee arrangement is most often seen when a lawyer is hired to pursue compensation from an insurance company. Under this type of agreement, the attorney will usually not get paid until the case is resolved and money is paid on the client’s behalf. At that time, the lawyer is entitled to keep a portion of the funds obtained as compensation for his or her time and efforts.
  3. Flat Rates: For some legal matters, lawyers will charge a flat rate to accomplish the task at hand. This arrangement is often found with speeding tickets, simple divorces, preparation of wills or other estate documents, business incorporation filings, and other legal tasks where a lawyer can reasonably anticipate the amount of time that will be required. It is also becoming more common for straight-forward litigation matters to be handled under flat-fee arrangements.

Dozier Miller handles cases using each of the three methods described above. We are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss the best compensation arrangement for their particular matter.

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