How Much Will It Cost To Hire Me?
I ask new clients to make a commitment of $80 at the initial appointment. I do not meet for free, in part, because I may spend up to an hour with you to provide as much advice and guidance as I can when we first meet. I will explain in details fees to expect if you hire me when we first meet or at some later point in time. Generally, an attorney who offers a free consultation will meet with you for 15 minutes or so, and provide you only general information along with a fee quote to pay to hire the attorney. Still, I do understand a person sometimes prefers an attorney who offers a free consultation but I do not.
I know that hiring an attorney can be expensive. I fully explain fees in advance, usually at the first consultation. I put all fee terms in writing in detail, while trying to keep it as short, simple, and straightforward as possible. I may use a form fee contract but I will add specific terms that apply to each client. I am detailed oriented when drafting documents and answering your questions. I hope you find your fees paid for my work is money well spent.
When my time and work are fairly predictable, such as with a simple dissolution or uncontested matter, I will commit to a flat fixed fee. This way my client knows exactly what my work will cost from start to end.
For more involved matters charged by the time and not a flat fixed fee, I provide detailed itemized invoices. My clients may talk to me at no charge to question an invoice, my work, or my fees. I want every client to be comfortable doing so. My fee contract expressly allows for this and states: “I may always meet at no charge to discuss any dissatisfaction with the fees billed for the services rendered.”
My office sometimes receives questions from callers asking what something will cost. I hope callers appreciate it is difficult to answer, such as what will it cost for a dissolution or a divorce, since the necessary amount of work and time widely varies. Still, my staff may check with me to provide you a ballpark estimate, if possible. For example, I may estimate for a simple dissolution with no children when both spouses are amicable $1,000 to $1,500 from start to end. With children, a ballpark estimate may be double this range but varies, depending on the parenting details such as child support calculations.
When I commit to a flat fee, that usually means the total fee is less than it would be at my hourly rate. My hourly rate when I charge my work by the time is $300 per hour. I am actually below average for my years of experience. I keep track of my time by tenths of hours. I do not round up to 15 minutes as you may find is a common practice.
I know it is hard to compare attorneys by hourly rates. Possibly, an experienced attorney may get twice as much done in an hour than a newer attorney. You as the client may always question me at no charge why I spent, say, two hours to do some work for you when you thought it should only take an hour.
I know fees for attorneys can be expensive. I will do my best to thoroughly do my work without overworking your case and running up fees unnecessarily.