Is Your Lawyer Just Running Up a Fee?

Lawyers and their fees, the bane of the client’s existence.

Lawyers bill in several ways, most commonly with retainers and hourly billing.  A retainer is unearned money that is placed in the lawyer’s Trust Account.  As the lawyer works on your case, talks to you, meets with you, emails, texts, or thinks about you, the lawyer charges you. As your charged the money is pulled from the Trust Account into the lawyer’s Operating Account.  When the retainer gets low the lawyer sends a nice letter, called a “Replenish Retainer” letter.  It says send more money.  The client then calls and asks “how much is this going to cost me?”  The response is ALWAYS the same, “It depends.”

Another way to bill is Value Pricing, or fixed fee pricing.  This is when there is a pre-negotiated or agreed upon price on the front end of the case.  The client and lawyer agree to the fee, the timing and circumstances under which it is due.  Here the client knows how much it is going to cost them.  In my experience most lawyers do not like this method because “high fees” scare clients away and some lawyers are not comfortable quoting fixed fees because they may limit what they can charge.

There are pros and cons to each method.  The hourly billing method is great if the matter settles quickly, but persons in the position needing lawyers are rarely in the settle-easy category.  The fixed fee method allows you to plan, budget and make a fully informed decision.

Whatever method your lawyer uses, make sure you understand it.  Make sure you appreciate the full cost and expense you are facing.

Thompson Law Firm uses the Value Pricing and fixed fee approach to handling your legal matter.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce and Domestic Relations Attorney in the Magnolia State.  Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or

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