About Legal Fees

Things to consider when looking for legal support, tackling basic legal issues or facing legal trouble

Prioritize your legal needs:

When do you need a lawyer and when can you “DIY”?

With legal fees in the U.S. often reaching several hundred dollars per hour, it is wise to consider which legal issues you might tackle on your own, and which require the help of legal professionals.

Why hire a business attorney?

  • If you are a small business owner, it’s better to find a lawyer now, rather than before you find yourself in legal trouble.
  • A good business attorney can assist with almost every aspect of a business, from basic employment law and intellectual property advice to contract negotiation and lawsuits.
  • Other important areas in which a business attorney can help: Business insurance law, professional legal contracts, partnership and shareholder agreements, trademark and copyright consultation, and website terms and conditions.

How do I find an attorney?

  • Start your search for a business attorney by consulting reliable associates. Ask your CPA, financial planner, banker or other business owners for recommendations of trusted business attorneys.
  • 3 key questions to ask an attorney when deciding which legal services will best meet the needs of your business:
  1. Have you had any ethics complaints filed against you?
  2. Can you give specific examples of work you have done in the past that is similar to the work you would be doing for me?
  3. Can you put me in contact with a client with whom you have done similar work?

DIY: Consider doing some of the work yourself

  • Taking legal matters into your own hands can be an excellent way to cut down on the legal fees you pay.
  • A simple internet search can often lead you to free or low cost options for downloading your own legal forms.
  • The first step in tackling legal issues on your own is educating yourself.

Educate yourself

  • Know your rights – inform yourself on your rights and understand pertinent laws.
  • Familiarize yourself with legal terms and definitions by finding a legal dictionary that fits your needs.
  • The American Bar Association is a good place to start the search for legal guidance. They offer resources to help educate the public on issues ranging from how courts work to estate planning FAQs.  

Finally, avoid legal fees by dodging legal issues in the first place. Consider following these simple steps to help stay out of legal trouble.

  • Stay covered. Make sure the most important things are well covered by insurance. That means vehicles, health, life, business, liability, etc.
  • Don’t fall victim to debt. Make sure to pay all taxes and bills in full and on time.
  • Trust your legal services. Whether it’s hired attorneys or DIY forms and services, make sure you are confident in their ability and validity.
  • Get it in writing! Down to the smallest agreement. With a signed, mutually agreed upon document, you’ll have the law on your side in the case of an unforeseen dispute.