Whether running a small business, have income properties or a big organization, legal fees, seemingly can’t be avoided. You will need to seek legal advice, create legally binding contracts, close a deal or even draft formal letters. Lawyer services are essential to limit liabilities and protect your assets. No matter how hard you try, they can take a bite out of your cash. The following information provides some tips you can use to save on legal fees.
Is my first appointment free?
Some lawyers offer free initial consultation. Inquire about this when you make your first appointment. You certainly should not have to pay for the first appointment, although some lawyers will charge a small percentage of their hourly rate. To save on legal fees go for a lawyer who does not charge the initial consultation.
Understand the law firm’s fee structure before you hire a lawyer.
Understanding what and how you will be charged is very crucial. Billing procedures and rates are usually a major cause of disagreements between clients and lawyers. You should ask your lawyer to put in writing all the charges and how the costs will be calculated. You should also not sign any agreement about fees before understanding it.
What can I do to reduce the charges?
Check with the lawyer whether there some task you can tackle yourself to save on the legal charges. These are usually tasks that your attorney would have a paralegal do and bill you. However, be careful with this and communicate openly with your lawyer about your proposed division of labor so he can guide you on what is appropriate and what is not. Some of the tasks you can do include:
Organize your documents in advance
Before meeting with the lawyer, organize all the required documents. Print out copies of any digital documents or emails required, and arrange them in good order.
Swap services with an attorney
Do you have a service you can trade with a lawyer? There are plenty of things that lawyers are not good at but might need them. Things like bookkeeping, SEO or marketing. If you need legal advice or services but cannot afford the charges, approach a lawyer and offer them a service in exchange for the legal services.
Obtaining documents from a public office
Requesting documents or public records is usually a simple process. There is also a ton of online research you can do for your attorney. This is also one way on how to get help paying for a lawyer.
Filing your own forms.
Filing forms such as articles of organization” for a Limited Liability Company or “articles of incorporation” is a straightforward procedure that you can do to minimize legal fees.
Fee and billing schedules are not set on stone, and the legal market place is competitive. So if you think the price quoted is too high, or that you need more time to pay the bill, try negotiating with the lawyer preferably up front.
Also, remember cost should not be the only factor in choosing your lawyer, you require proper attorney services to get the protection you need. You can even loan shop for a personal loan to cover legal fees.
Inquire what the estimated total cost is
It is essential to ask the lawyer what will be the total costs so that you may budget for the fees. Most cases the estimate will depend on the degree of conflict between you and the other party. If the price is charged per hour, you should also inform your lawyer to send you notifications when he or she realizes that the estimated costs are likely to change.
In today’s economy, it is financially difficult for most individuals to get by. Therefore adding expensive legal services to their expenses isn’t feasible. However, high legal fees should not limit you to acquiring proper legal advice.
Make use of these guidelines to save on legal fees, and get the legal protection you deserve.