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Examining the Legal Billing Rates

By Mart Gil Abareta

Every time you want to avail legal assistance, your finances are also one of your biggest considerations. I’m speaking here in terms of legal billing rates. These rates really vary based on the experience, prominence and prerogative of the lawyers. Lawyer fees differ. Now, the big question is – Are these fees reasonable for clients like you? Is it just enough for the lawyers?

An article entitled “Guide to Legal Services Billing Rates” says that most lawyers will tell you that the practice of law is a noble profession dedicated to the pursuit of truth and justice. But anyone looking to hire a lawyer must realize that practicing law is first of all a business. As a result, lawyers in private practice are going to charge what the market will bear in order to make a profit from their services. Understanding this and having a basic knowledge as to how lawyers’ charge for their services may help you to negotiate the best deal when you need to hire one.

I must say that all of the payment arrangements stated in the said article are not more than enough. I think, they are just enough to compensate for the time and effort a lawyer will spend in your case. These arrangements include hourly rates, flat fees, retainers and contingent fees. The lawyer has the opportunity to choose the payment plan that you’ll have. However, the client can still open up his views if he disagrees with the lawyers’ offer. It’s still up to them to decide about the final payment arrangements.

In addition, there are certain factors impacting lawyers’ fees such as advice, outcome, overhead, experience, time and effort, difficulty of case, prominence of lawyer, geographical location, and preferred client discount. All of these affect the choice that a lawyer makes regarding the payment arrangement that the client has to comply with.

Indeed, it’s important to understand how these fees are being treated under the different payment arrangements. The decision if what type of payment best suits your paying capabilities still depends on a good communication between you and your lawyer. It may be hard to compensate for this high-paying job but then it will be your reputation that’s at stake here.

Generally, it’s always better to fairly settle everything first – especially in terms of legal billing rates – before commencing any legal proceedings. Through this, you’ll certainly have a smooth-sailing relationship with your attorney towards the success of your case.

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