One of the many questions law offices receive day in and day out is How much will hiring an attorney cost me? There are infinite factors to consider when discussing pricing for hiring legal representation for your case. Has the case already been filed? If not, this means there will be filing fees to pay the county courts for filing and opening a new case. For a family law, divorce case – is the divorce agreed or contested, are there any children from the divorce, are there joint assets that need dividing? If you’re looking to file for a new visa, citizenship or sponsorship there are two separate fees, ones that go strictly to the USCIS immigration services and separate attorney fees that go toward the lawyer you have hired to assist you in your immigration law case. The list goes on and on for all of the different types of legal services you might choose to hire an attorney for, this could include wills, bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure, auto dealer law, immigration law, family law, divorce, power of attorney, and much more. So how much will any of this cost? First, there are a few terms we need to become familiar with.
One of the most common phrases that we hear from movies and social media is having an attorney “on retainer,” but what does it even mean? A retainer simply means that there is a starting lump sum a client has to pay in full in order to retain, or hire, an attorney onto their case. Then the attorney bills the client hourly every time they work on their case using the money from the retainer. Once the hourly-retainer is used up if there is more work to be done on the case, and both the client and attorney wish to continue, the retainer will need to be replenished in order to go on. At the end of the day, a seemingly easy and straight-forward case, can have the most minor complication change it into a very expensive and tedious matter.
Sometimes cases are able to be quoted as flat-fees. A flat-fee is exactly what it sounds like, it is a one-time cost for a one-time service (not billed hourly.) For instance, if there is an agreed divorce and both parties are on the same page for all aspects, an attorney might choose to quote a client with a flat-fee. A lawyer would be able to provide their services for a flat-fee if both parties agree on the divorce, if there are no children involved and no joint assets that would need separating. Divorces are very tricky, due to the fact that one small disagreement could turn the case contested, thus turning into a retainer, that needs to be continuously replenished.
In an immigration case, if you are filing for a visa, naturalization, a sponsorship, petition, etc. – more often than not, there would be one fee for that matter. And please keep in mind, if there are any unique issues that arise from the case that drastically alter the original client-attorney contract, this could mean a total change of course. It is imperative that clients remain honest with their lawyers at all times. Anytime you speak with an attorney that conversation is confidential, the lawyer you have retained is on your side and wants to see your case succeed. If you so choose to refrain from sharing certain complications that have come up during your case in the past, any disagreements or criminal history, when it comes to surface, it could be entirely too late to have the attorney do anything in your favor.
The attorneys are the only ones that are able to quote a client with a price, this being said, the attorneys are the ones who delve into the specifics of your legal case, they know all of the necessary questions to ask and they are the ones that have an idea of all the different possible routes your case could go. The attorneys are the only people allowed to provide legal advice and by obtaining a thorough understanding of your case, the lawyers know exactly how much work has to be done on your case to achieve the desired outcome and can provide you with a realistic estimate of how much legal representation for your case could cost all-together.
It is pertinent to understand that hiring a seasoned attorney to represent you in a case is vital. If you have reached the decision of seeking legal counsel, you have deemed the overall value of your case, your health and your happiness to be worth more than the cost. Retaining a lawyer, whether that is for immigration law, family law, divorce, bankruptcy, litigation, foreclosure defense, auto dealer law, power of attorney, wills or more is surely no easy feat. If you are in need of legal assistance or unsure how to legally proceed in your situation you can turn to The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky, LLC and schedule a consultation with our highly experienced attorneys! You can call our direct office number at (317) 743-7958 or go onto our website at Contact Us | The Law Offices of Eugene Mogilevsky (egmlegal.com) and submit a Contact Form and someone from our office will reach out to have you scheduled for a consultation!
Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only and is not to be taken as legal advice in any capacity. Reading this blog does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship.