Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of being in a situation that requires legal counsel. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money on an attorney, only to find out they are not qualified for your case. We will discuss four tips for finding a lawyer within your budget.
1) Ask friends and family for a referral.
If you have never hired an attorney before, it is important to consider all your options so that you can find the best lawyer within your budget. One of these options includes asking friends, family members, or even co-workers who they would recommend hiring if given the same situation as yours. If someone has had experience with a good lawyer, they will likely be able to give you some tips for your search.
When looking at the qualifications of the attorney, make sure that their experience is relevant to your case. The cost varies depending on what type of law practice each individual has specialized in over the years. For example, if someone works as a defense attorney specializing in family law, they might not be much help if they face criminal charges. When looking at their qualifications, keep in mind that the higher cost does not necessarily equate to a better lawyer.
2) Compare costs across different law practices.
After asking close friends and family about their experience with certain lawyers, your next step is to compare the cost of hiring each lawyer compared to their qualifications. Many aspects factor into how much an attorney charges per hour or for a fixed price, such as specific training in relevant areas like bankruptcy, real estate, or criminal law.
In addition, the location of where they work might also factor into how much an attorney charges per hour. For example, suppose a lawyer works in New York City instead of Scranton, Pennsylvania. In that case, their hourly rate might be significantly higher since rent and living expenses are more expensive in NYC than in Scranton. Some lawyers might also charge for their parking or even the mileage they travel to meet you at your home, office, or court. But remember, not all lawyers are like this; some do not charge any additional fees and will work with whatever budget you have set aside for legal expenses.
3) Ask your lawyer if there are any additional fees.
When meeting with a potential attorney for the first time, make sure to ask them about all possible costs that may be included in working on your cases, such as filing fees or court-related expenses like per diem payments and subpoena fees. If you do not want to work with an attorney after you find out they charge additional fees, make sure to ask about non-profit organizations in your area that help provide legal assistance at no cost.
4) Research local organizations that provide free legal assistance.
If you do not have the money to hire an attorney, it is important to research non-profit agencies or even bar associations in your area that offer legal help at no cost. Depending on what type of case you are facing, there might be a number of options available for individuals who cannot afford an attorney.
These tips can help you find a lawyer within your budget and avoid getting ripped off by an expensive law practice that does not have the experience or qualification for your specific case. However, if you decide to work with somebody who is charging additional fees, make sure to put it in writing, so there are no misunderstandings later on about the total cost of your legal expenses.