What does it cost to hire a lawyer?

The cost of hiring a good lawyer varies by jurisdiction and by area of expertise. Most attorneys charge by the hour with fees ranging from $125 to $450 depending on many variables. You should expect to pay more in larger cities than you do in neighboring towns. A large firm with a downtown office has larger overhead than a smaller firm in the suburbs. Certain cases such as personal injury cases are generally in the range of 1/3 of the settlement plus whatever fees the firm incurred during the course of the representation. Divorce and lawsuits are almost always billed by the hour and you should inquire of several reputable attorneys as to what the hourly rate would be. In criminal cases you can often find an attorney who will quote you a fixed rate based upon the nature of your case and the level of experience the attorney has in dealing with these cases. Here is where an educated consumer should be interviewing several attorneys who have expertise in the type of situation you are facing. In a DUI case you should expect to pay more for a second offense than a first. You should expect to pay more for a felony case than for a misdemeanor or a Superior Court case over a District Court case.

With that in mind, you will find a wide range of fees. The top lawyers will charge more than new lawyers, or lawyers with lesser skills or reputations. However, there are many good attorneys who have smaller practices, less overhead and a great deal of experience handling your type of case. These firms can afford to charge less and still make a profit. This allows you to get a top rated (AV Rated) attorney with an excellent reputation and the level of skill necessary to resolve your problems successfully. For this reason, price alone should not be your main criteria when selecting an attorney to represent you. As a general rule, when it comes to legal representation, you should not expect anything for free. The best way to get a feel for attorneys’ fees in your area is to call around and get several quotes. Go online (as you are now) and look for an AV Rated firm from and search for an attorney who has handled similar cases, is recognized by his peers and is willing to talk with you briefly about your case and the possible costs involved. If you are heading to court choose wisely and at least speak with an AV Rated firm and discuss your finances as well as their payment plans and select the best lawyer you can. Don’t be afraid to ask what the cost willbe of the entire representation. An experienced attorney can almost always give you the right answer or at least give you the names of some other reputable attorneys that can meet your needs. Look for knowledge, skill, experience and reputation in the community. These are hard earned and are good indicators of the quality of your attorney.

If you are having difficulty finding an attorney, or you are not sure what it will cost please call Sweeney & Associates at (617) 300-0212. We can always help.

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