Finding a lawyer when you need legal representation is a difficult task. First, simply being in need of an attorney means you’re in the midst of legal problems, which can be taxing. Second, not everyone can afford an attorney, making legal problems even more trying. Finding a good lawyer when you can’t afford to pay a lot of anything at all can be problematic. Thankfully, there are a number of resources available to any U.S. citizen who can’t afford a lawyer who finds himself or herself in need of legal counsel. Federal legal-aid programs, pro bono programs, legal clinics, law schools—these are some helpful free or low cost options that are available to those who can’t afford a lawyer when they need one. In fact, if you find yourself needing legal representation, there may even be a lawyer near you who can help if you can’t afford one.
One of the foremost questions people have on their minds when they find themselves in need of legal representation is, “How will I pay for this?” Naturally, those who are fortunate enough never to need an attorney will not have to worry, but many of us will at one time or another end up in a legal bind wherein hiring an attorney will be quite valuable. In those cases, it’s helpful to understand how lawyers are paid in order to decide which type of fee will work best for your particular situation. It’s also important to know that if you cannot afford an attorney, there are programs available that could help. Top lawyers are able to answer all your questions about the different fee options in the legal profession, such as contingency fees, hourly fees, fixed fees, and retainers. Following is a breakdown of what these mean and how they work.
It’s important to know that oftentimes the fee arrangement will be dependent upon which type of case you need representation for, such as divorce, criminal, foreclosure, landlord/tenant, etc. It may also be decided by the amount of research involved, how much time an attorney will need to spend in court, and the amount of time that will be needed to come to a resolution of your case.
Many of us are lucky enough that we’ll never need a lawyer in our entire lives. However, many more will need an attorney at one point or another, and when that time comes, it’s important to know how to choose a lawyer. Thankfully, the days of throwing open the yellow pages to the attorney pages, shutting your eyes, and pointing to one are long gone. Today, there are a number of valuable resources that will help you choose a lawyer if you find yourself in need of one. Lawyer referral services, online resources, lawyer directories, personal referrals and business lawyers can all be a wealth of information that can help guide you to a lawyer who is right for your situation.
There are different types of fees which are charged by legal professionals. Lawyers may charge a retainer fee or work on a contingency basis. Many lawyers charge flat fees for the various services they provide. Sometimes clients, such as large corporations, pay a retainer fee. This means that the lawyer is always available to answer questions or handle any legal matters should they arise.