Hiring a Lawyer Should I pay by the hour or on a Contingency Fee basis

There are many different reasons for one to hire a lawyer. For a divorce, in defence, to sue someone, in order to receive payment due, are all common reasons. Most people will probably be fairly shocked when it comes to the prices lawyers command; the fact is one needs a trained professional in order to negotiate our justice system no matter whether the matter is civil or criminal.

There are two different ways in which a lawyer may charge a client for his or her services. The first is the hourly fee, the second the contingency fee. In most cases, you will probably find that the contingency fee basis is the way to go. We will take a look at what a contingency fee is, and why it might be better than hourly fees, in this article. Contingency fees A contingency fee is payment to a lawyer for services rendered only after they have successfully completed your case.

In other words, you do not pay unless you win. Most often, contingency fees are based on a percentage of the final award that the judge will make. Be prepared, though: the percentages can be quite steep indeed! Contingency fees versus by the hour High as the cut your lawyer may take if you opt for a contingency fee is, you might find the financial blow easier to deal with than paying a lawyer by the hour. Most lawyers earn fees between $300 and $600 an hour while they are working on cases, and the hours really seem to fly by.

Research, business lunches, preparation, and actual court time can mean a lot of hours spent on one case, and this will quickly add up. In addition, with an hourly rate there is no additional incentive for your lawyer to win. This is not true on a contingency fee basis; lawyers paid contingencies must win in order to get paid. If you keep your search to lawyers that will only be paid on a contingency basis, you will find lawyers that will only take your case if they feel it can be won (not so with hourly fees, where win or lose the lawyer still gets paid). Of course, there are some cases where contingency fees are not an option- divorce is often one.

If that is so, you may have no choice but to pay hourly fees for your lawyer's services. Still, whenever you do have a choice, it is best to take the contingency fee option.

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