Attorney’s fees may seem expensive at first glance, but there are a number of reasons why they charge the rates they do. Lawyers see people in some of the most stressful times of life, often with issues of vital importance hinging on the outcome of a case.
A lawyer takes the client’s problem and makes it his or her own. When asked why lawyers charge so much, Richard Quadrino, a disability attorney in practice with his partner Evan Schwartz, says, “How much would you charge if you were dealing with other people’s problems? I get worn out by my own problems.”
Why are attorneys worth the fees they charge? We’ve listed a few of the reasons below.
1. Lawyers Fix and Prevent Problems
You pay a lawyer not just to solve the problem you’re dealing with, but to keep you from having to deal with that problem ever again. A lawyer is not just a problem solver, but also a problem preventer and is trained to spot things that may come up in the future. For example, if you pay a lawyer to draw up a contract for your business, you will probably use that contract countless times with many customers and clients. Likewise, if you and your lawyer are fighting to get Social Security or disability insurance benefits from your employer, it is worth the cost because these benefits will last the rest of your life. If your lawyer does his job, what you pay for today is worth 30 to 50 years’ worth of solutions to problems and lawsuits.
2. The Job Comes with Either Lots of Hours or Extra Stress
Attorneys working for a law firm will spend 60-80 hours per week working and are never able to get all their work done. These lawyers only get paid for the work they complete for clients. On the other hand, private practice attorneys may not have to work as many hours, but if they make a mistake they bear the entire responsibility. It only takes one error, one sentence on one document; if it slips through the cracks, the result could be lost custody of a child and a lost licence for the lawyer. An attorney can easily lose his job and his licence. “Every hour of your day you have to worry about whether you are missing anything,” Quadrino says.
3. It Costs Money to Get Married; Why Wouldn’t it Cost Money To Get Un-Married?
When people get married they pay for the wedding, and for a house and car. Nine months later they often pay for hospital bills to safely deliver a child into the world. After so much expense, it’s easy to see why divorce would be so much trouble. A lawyer has to sort out the division of these things. Looking at it this way, the attorney’s fees make sense. Why would you expect your divorce to be cheap if your wedding wasn’t?
4. Fighting Takes Work
There is another, less pleasant aspect of being a lawyer: Quadrino points out that much of an attorney’s work consists of fighting with judges. This causes anxiety, especially after a whole day of back-to-back arguments with different judges.
5. Do You Get What You Pay For?
Many people who are looking for a lawyer feel that the more they spend, the more likely they are to win a case. This may be true, but this also causes a dilemma when a lawyer finds a way to do something more simply. Many lawyers feel they need to charge the same or more than others with similar practices. “If I charge less then people don’t hire me,” Quadrino said.
Why are lawyers justified in charging what may seem like ‘an arm and a leg’? Because they can help you keep your other arm and leg! Their work is difficult and stressful, and their skills are invaluable in protecting clients from current and future problems.
An attorney can assist you with issues such as divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure or a criminal arrest. Try the Lawyers.com Attorney Fee Calculator to estimate the costs associated with hiring a lawyer to help you. Looking for more information or have another legal problem? Visit Lawyers.com to learn more and to locate an attorney in your area who can advise you.
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