Understanding How Attorneys Bill For Services

November/December 2023

   One of the first things many people consider when hiring legal counsel is how much it will cost.  Understanding the basics of how attorneys charge for their services before meeting with one will help you ask the right questions and determine whether the services they will be providing are worth it so you get the representation you need.  

   Attorneys bill based on case type, complexity, and time spent working on the case.  Depending on these factors, attorneys will utilize one or several different billing methods in their practice.  Although you should always ask about the billing method at the initial client meeting, it is ultimately the attorney’s responsibility to inform their potential clients how they plan to charge them for their services.   

   Attorneys have several different billing methods to pick from, such as hourly rates, flat fees, retainers, contingency fees, and legal subscription services.  We will break down the different methods below.

   It is common for attorneys to use hourly rate billing.  For this method, attorneys will keep track of the amount of time they work on every aspect of a file.  From the initial client meeting to drafting documents and reviewing records.  Notably, every six minutes of work done on a file count as 0.1 hours billed.  The ...

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