Money to Hire a Lawyer

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What if I Cannot Afford an Attorney?

You may not actually need money to hire a lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency.

When a lawyer works on contingency, he may not require payment unless he actually recovers on the claim. Before a lawyer begins working on the case, he and the client agree on the amount of payment. Often this is a percentage of the total recovery amount, although it could also be a flat fee.

When the case is closed, the lawyer will take his portion out of the total award and give the balance to the client. This way, the injured person can recover without having to pay the lawyer upfront.

Some lawyers are also open to trading for services. For instance, if the client is good with graphic design and website building, the lawyer could trade legal services in exchange for the construction of a website. A restaurant owner could offer free meals in exchange for defense from an employment dispute. 

What if the Attorney I Want is Outside My Budget?

Sometimes clients will find an attorney they believe is right, but discover that the price is too high. In this situation, it is perfectly acceptable for the client to try to bargain the price down. Similarly, the client could also ask for a payment plan, whereby the client agrees to pay small portions of the bill over a long period of time.

Finally, if the client and the attorney cannot come to an agreement, the client might want to look for another lawyer. There is nothing wrong with hiring a younger lawyer. In fact, it might be advantageous since a younger lawyer, while less experienced, might be more familiar with recent developments in the law. A younger lawyer will often have fewer clients, allowing the younger lawyer to focus more time on your case.

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Last Modified: 07-15-2013 04:07 PM PDT

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