It is no secret or surprise that lawyers are expensive. I am not going to pretend otherwise. It is very clever to keep your legal fees as low as possible, and I will share with you how you can do this. The normal fee that you can expect from a family lawyer would be between $370 to $550 dollars per hour, depending on their experience or the firm that they work for. (I have heard of a lawyer who charges $750 per hour, which I think is pretty steep.)
Why Are Legal Fees Expensive?
There are several reasons lawyers have to charge this kind of money, and one is that the years we have spent studying to get our law degrees give us expertise in a complex field no one could navigate without that study. Another reason is that law firms have very high overheads: professional indemnity insurance is one enormous expense; a solicitor’s ongoing responsibility for education and training is another. We are also required to manage and archive files, a far more time-consuming business than you might expect, and pay all sorts of registration fees to maintain our professional status.
So how do you receive the legal advice and expertise that you require while keeping your legal fees to a minimum? I can offer you many strategies and tips on how to do this.
Choose An Excellent Family Law Firm
To start with, of course, choose an excellent family law firm, though as I’ve said, it doesn’t have to be a top-tier city firm to get you an excellent result. There are many family law firms that charge reasonable rates where you can engage a very experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated family lawyer who will not charge you an arm and a leg. Because Family Law is the same throughout Australia, you could look further afield than your own city. Ensure that you get a costs agreement outlining what the fees are. All firms should issue you a costs agreement, and you should take the time to read it and ask questions if you have any.
Once you get started, and you’re paying for every phone call and file review, make sure to provide your lawyer with documents that are organised and in order, and that nothing is missing.
Consolidate Your Phone Calls And Emails
Not all but most lawyers charge in six-minute increments; therefore, it is less expensive to call once and have a twelve-minute conversation than it is to call four times and talk for one minute here, five minutes there and three minutes twice on Tuesdays.
Don’t Use Your Lawyer As A Counselor.
A professional counselor is far less expensive, and they are also able to advise you on your emotional and relationship issues. As family lawyers, it is part of our job to listen to people’s issues other than their strictly legal concerns, but don’t forget that your lawyer will charge you for this.
Give Clear Instructions.
If you keep changing your mind regarding the instructions you give your lawyer, it will cost you more. You may have instructed them to respond a certain way at 10 am, and they draft the correspondence accordingly, so if, at 3.30 pm, you change your mind and give your lawyer new or updated instructions, it will only cost you more.
Speak candidly to your lawyer and tell them everything. So often, as lawyers, we find out new information as the matter progresses, which then changes the advice. This, too, costs the client more time and money.
Choosing an experienced family lawyer will keep your costs down as they know what to do, don’t have to do research and have helped many clients just like you through family law matters similar to yours in the past. They can also offer you the right advice from the beginning, which is less costly.
Listen to your lawyer’s advice and be prepared to act on it by giving your lawyer the correct instructions. Sometimes, delaying action can cost you a lot more in the long run.
Respond to your lawyer’s requests in a timely fashion. If your lawyer has to chase you up for information and to confirm instructions all the time, just remember they are charging you for that.