What can I do to save money on legal fees?
Bear in mind that attorney fees are usually negotiable even though you will not be asked to bargain over the fees. The following are a few tips to make sure you save the most money possible:
- Shop around for flat fees on routine cases.
- Discuss the method of billing for hourly rates. To avoid problems, have a written agreement stating the fee agreement as well as what is involved.
- Find an attorney with the qualifications necessary for your case. The majority of legal work is fairly routine. Knowing what form needs to be completed and then who to file that with plays a large role.
- Propose to help with the workload.
- Use the lawyer as the middleman. If you only need a letter written to the opposing party, some attorneys will negotiate a lower fee.
- Work the lawyer as your coach. Hire a lawyer to guide you and review documents and letters that you prepared and signed if you would like to represent yourself in court (pro se).
- Select an attorney that specializes in your particular case.
- Always arrive prepared to lawyer meetings. The more information you have at hand means less time that the lawyer needs to spend looking for that information.
- Be forthcoming with your attorney. To save time and money, make sure the attorney knows all the pertinent facts as soon as possible to reduce the need for more investigation.
- If factors change, inform your lawyer immediately. This can possibly save the lawyer’s time or keep the lawyer from working on the case in the wrong direction.
- Be prepared when having contact with your lawyer. Ask all questions in one call. When you receive a letter or information in writing, pass it on to other staff members instead of contacting the attorney, unless you have a specific need.
- Pay close attention to invoices. Ask that you receive an invoice regularly. This applies to all types of fee agreements including a contingency fee. If you have a question regarding any of the items, you should immediately speak with your attorney.