Hiring an attorney can be expensive, but there is no substitute for the legal knowledge and assistance they offer. To make it easier for you to afford services, many attorneys will offer alternative fee arrangements.
The American Bar Association explains alternative fee arrangements are options for making payments to an attorney for services that are more affordable.
Reason for offering
Alternative fee arrangement options help an attorney to help you better. They also make it easier to bill you because there is a set billing agreement. In addition, having this option means you can get legal help when you need it, even if you may not be able to afford to pay for it upfront.
Types of arrangements
Alternative options may include a flat fee for the whole case, which includes everything the attorney will do for you. This makes it clear what you will pay and eliminates surprising bills later.
Contingency fees are another common option. These occur when the attorney takes payment out of any damages you win in court. You do not pay if you do not win. These are nice because they also provide a lot of motivation for the attorney to do the best job possible with your case.
Fee caps are when you and the attorney agree on a set hourly rate. This also prevents surprises because you know exactly what you will pay for every hour the attorney works.
Each office may have its own types of alternative fee arrangements. The goal is to help you as much as possible while being able to continue to operate as a business. The attorney has to charge enough to keep his or her office functioning, but they still want to help you if possible by making services affordable.