How Much Will My Legal Matter Cost?
Some legal matters are handled on a flat fee basis, that is, we would charge one amount to handle the entire scope of your legal situation. Estate planning (preparation, signing and notarization of wills, powers of attorneys, living wills) is one of these areas. Most other matters are billed on an hourly basis. Hourly fees range from $225 to $350 per hour for attorneys and $120 to $195 for paralegal support staff. Support staff and associate attorneys are used whenever appropriate to keep legal fees as reasonable as possible.
The cost to handle your legal matter will vary depending upon several factors, among them:
- Type and complexity of your case
- The jurisdiction you are in
- Level of conflict in your case
Many clients will ask, “How much is my divorce going to cost?” or “What is my total bill going to be for my legal matter?” The total cost of most legal cases is impossible to predict. There is no “average” or “normal” divorce. Each probate case will be different. Every litigation case will involve varied aspects and nuances. Most good lawyers will not give an estimate of the total cost of your hourly case. The reason is simple — we really have no idea what the couple may end up fighting over in a divorce, what conflicts will arise regarding child custody or what heirs will quibble over during the settling of an estate. In any area of law, conflict, more than anything else, drives the cost. If the parties can agree on key issues, all that remains is drafting of documents. But when there are disagreements, negotiations and arguments these issues take time to resolve, delaying resolution of the case and adding to the legal fees.
During your initial phone consultation, we will review your case and the specifics of your situation. At that time, we will determine an amount for our retainer. Most attorneys will require you to post a retainer and sign a fee agreement before they’ll represent you or provide you with any legal advice. We will do the same. The fee agreement will outline the scope of our representation — what we will do for you — as well as what you, as a client, will do and be responsible for.
We strive to keep our fees as reasonable as possible.