Frugal Living

A Simple Guide to Finding an Affordable Lawyer

We all need to use legal services at various points in our lives. It could be for business reasons, or because you are getting married – or divorced. It might be because you have had an accident at work, or need to help you defend yourself in a criminal case. The trouble is, whatever your reasons for hiring a lawyer, you can bet one thing – it’s going to cost you.

All that legal knowledge you need to tap into is expensive – and often, it’s prohibitively so. And if you are short on cash or savings, it tends to be the case that you end up using lower-quality services. It’s not fair by any means – but it is the reality.

That said, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are getting the best legal help while paying less than the advertised rates. And in today’s guide, we’re going to go through some of the things you should consider if you want to strike a better deal. Read on to find out more!

Negotiate

Using a Arizona Criminal Attorney is just like using any other service – which means that deals are available. Don’t forget, when you hire a lawyer, you will need to interview them, and you should always aim to speak to at least two or three, which will give you some bargaining chips straight off the bat. And the truth is that even if you only have one option, you can still bring something to the table by offering to take away some of their workloads. For example, you might want to collect as much evidence about your case as possible, including taking witness statements. Or, you might consider using a legal document preparation service to save your lawyer further time. Don’t forget, lawyers only have to do five minutes work, and they could charge you for the hour – so the more you do yourself, the more you will save.

Pay outright

Some lawyers will take you on as a no-win no-fee client. And it can be an attractive proposition if you are short on cash. The trouble is that you will end up paying them more if you get compensation – they can take a huge chunk of your settlement as payment, which will often vastly outweigh any upfront payment fees. There is a way to get around this, assuming you have a good credit rating. Try applying for a credit card that gives you zero percent on spending. You can then pay for your legal briefs fees upfront, securing a better price. Then it’s a case of paying off the card over the interest-free period, ensuring you get rid of all the debt before the period ends. Or, if you are lucky, your compensation will come through, and you can pay it off in one shot – although this could be risky if there are complications yourself.

Should you represent yourself?

Now, before we go into this one, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t represent yourself for the vast majority of cases. The law is a complicated beast, and even the simplest case requires a lot of depth of knowledge if you want to get a positive result. Let’s say you have an accident at work, for example. As the SiebenCarey point out, you might find yourself battling against a system you don’t understand, and a team of expensive lawyers is fighting the other party’s case. Those aren’t odds I would recommend!  You wouldn’t give yourself surgery, instead of going to a surgeon, would you? Because it’s that kind of complexity that we could be talking about. However, if you the case is just an open and shut, or you don’t need to argue your point – in a simple divorce, for example – then there is no reason why you can’t save on some of your legal fees.

Swap services

Legal firms are businesses just like any other. And if you have skills in other areas, they might just have a need for them. Maybe they have a struggling website, and you are an expert at SEO, for example. Or perhaps you are a bookkeeper, and they need someone to sort out their annual tax return. Of course, there’s an excellent chance that they will charge you a lot more for their services than you do for yours! But there is nothing to say that you can’t make an agreement that knocks off a good percentage and protect your savings. Just remember to do the work – you don’t want to be chased by a team of legal eagles!

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