Legal fees for an attorney can be expensive, but there are several simple things you can do to help save money. Most important item is choosing the right attorney and doing a bit of research up front.

5 Ways to Lower Your Legal Fees

1. Choose The Right Attorney

There are several types of law firms that you can choose from. By doing your homework and selecting the right attorney, you can save hundreds and perhaps even thousands of dollars.  The more comfortable you feel working with your attorney, the smoother the process will go — not to mention the need to jump from one attorney to another one because you “don’t get along”. Also, hiring a solo practitioner or small law firm lawyer will generally lower your overall legal costs for the simple reason that large law firm attorneys charge more.

2. Do Some of the Basic Work Yourself

You can save on legal fees by doing some of the work on your own. This may include basic prep work such as gathering necessary documents and by providing your attorney with as much relevant information as possible. But first, make sure you are not duplicating work already done or hindering your attorney from making progress.

3. Limit Phone Calls, Emails, and Other Forms of Communication

If  your lawyer takes a call, responds to an email, or has to examine a fax you sent, they will generally charge you for the time they spent reviewing or responding to your communication. You can help insure that your fees are the lowest possible by providing all the information your attorney might need — right up front. Obviously, things change in the course of a legal proceeding, but you are better to schedule meaningful meetings at various checkpoints during you case, rather than making frequent and sometimes unnecessary calls or sending a scattering of emails.

4. Consider Hiring an Alternative to an Attorney

Not all legal matter require the services of an attorney. Some may be handled alone or with the help of others, such as paralegals, notary publics, dispute resolution centers, and self representation in small claims court. For example, disputes over small amounts of money or a divorce between a couple with no or little assets or children may only require an attorney to look over the final agreement. In other cases, mediation may save you a considerable sum.

5. Self-Help Guides & Free Legal Websites

If you know which document you need,  you may purchase the legal form at a “storefront operation.”  The people who work at these companies are usually non-lawyers and are therefore are prohibited from suggesting documents or practicing law. In this case, you are representing yourself. One may also turn to the Internet for legal questions and self-help guides, but be sure you are using a trusted source and that the information is current.

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