Let’s face it—most lawyers are expensive. We’re well aware of that fact. When you retain an experienced and well-educated law professional, their time and services are extremely valuable, and thus their cost is at a premium. Unfortunately this sometimes means that attorneys price themselves out of the budgets of many people desperately need them. However, if you think you can’t afford an attorney, you might simply be unaware of just how much you actually can save on your costs and fees by simply being smart about what you have them do. Here are three tips for keeping your expenses down when you’re going through a legal matter, thus possibly making a lawyer you previously thought was too expensive become more affordable.
DO SOME WORK YOURSELF
By going above and beyond to put in a little bit of extra effort, you can save your lawyer a lot of time, which means you’ll save a lot of money on your fees. If you’re involved in a divorce, your lawyer will probably request that you get documents like school transcripts for your kids, financial records, and more. Going out of your way to get them and organizing them will make your lawyer’s job much easier. If you’re in a criminal case, you can work on lining up witnesses to give a testimony. Doing this yourself so your lawyer doesn’t have to means fewer billable hours and thus a larger savings on your end.
You can also help your lawyer out a lot by becoming more knowledgeable on the area of law you’re currently dealing with. Want to know more about the divorce process? A blog about a divorce case timeline can explain a general idea of what to expect. Need help with a probate issue? A legal resource such as a lawyer’s blog or information database like Nolo can prove you with a solid baseline level of knowledge that will better prepare you for the road ahead.
DON’T PAY FOR UNNECESSARY TASKS
Your lawyer can do a lot of things, but in some cases, asking them to do something isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it. Say you’re having trouble with the family home during a probate case. Having the house appraised by a non-legal professional, such as a certified home appraiser, will not only help you save money but get the job done faster. You won’t have to pay your attorney to pour over records and have them finally come up with a number they can then use to help your case.
You can also talk to financial experts, independent paralegals, insurance agents, and many other professionals for information regarding your legal questions.
RESPECT YOUR LAWYER’S TIME & FEES
The old saying “time is money” holds extremely true in the legal industry: the longer your lawyer has to spend working on your case, the more it’s going to cost you in the long run. Therefore, consulting your lawyer with multiple concerns at once can help you consolidate costs and save money in the long run. For example, if you are the fiduciary in a probate matter, you may wish to discuss various ownership claims on a family home at the same time you ask about the status of a trust fund that’s going to one of the beneficiaries in the case. This means you’ll have to send fewer emails and make fewer phone calls to get the answer you need, which saves you money and lets your attorney do more with their time.
Also, pay your fees on time. Attorneys appreciate receiving their payment promptly after providing their services, since they are running a business after all. If you don’t know that you can make your payment on time, ask them about a payment plan—generally attorneys are more forgiving and understanding for clients who are honest and work hard to make sure they pay on time than those who frequently miss payments, leaving them unsure if they’ll ever actually get paid.
You can also consider retaining an Atlanta low cost lawyer from the Justice Café. Call us today at 888-817-6610 to schedule a consultation and take advantage of our low $85 per hour services rate!