Law Office of Lance Dacre

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Attorney Retainer – What Can You Expect?

Posted on | May 19, 2010 | No Comments

How to Hire a Lawyer on Retainer

A lawyer is a legal professional certified to practice law in a particular state. Hiring a lawyer is often an important step in the resolution of a particular legal issue or problem. When you’re choosing a lawyer, choose one who has experience in the area of law relevant to your case. Lawyers can be expensive, and, in some instances, you may be able to get a lawyer on a retainer fee. A retainer fee is an assurance that the lawyer will solely be available, as per requirement, to work on your case.

The advanced payment for an attorney’s services is called a retainer, which is intended to insure the representation of the lawyer for his client and his compensation as well. When extensive works are involved, a retainer agreement commonly takes place between the attorney and the client. Further payments for services can be expected as the time spent on the legal matter increase. Most lawyers wish to be paid either advanced or on time after the service is executed.


Step 1

Look for a lawyer with experience in your area of need. Many different types of law are practiced, such as elder law, criminal defense, immigration defense, personal injury and contract law. The individual that you plan on retaining should have a proven track record.

Step 2

Find out if the lawyer is currently a member of the bar association in your state. This is achieved by contacting your state’s bar. Most of the state bars also list any grievances from clients that the attorney has.

Step 3

Contact the lawyer you want to retain and inquire about their fee schedules. Ask him or her what the firm’s explicit retainer policy is. In some instances, certain types of legal services are covered under the retainer fee, or the retainer fee acts as a down payment towards your case. If this is the situation, your legal fees will be subtracted from the retainer and you will be required to make another payment at that point.

Step 4

Complete the necessary forms and paperwork to hire the lawyer. Pay his or her retainer fee .

Tips & Warnings

•Once you retain a lawyer, no one else can represent you for that specific legal issue unless you fire your current counsel and hire another attorney.

•Hiring a lawyer on a retainer fee may be more costly than him or her working for you on a standard, hourly or contingency rate. Bear this in mind before retaining an attorney.

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