Hiring an Honest Attorney
Unfortunately, overcharging is a common practice in the legal profession. Many firms are set up to incentivize this behavior. Whether it is purposeful or accidental, when hiring an attorney, please read over your bills and contract carefully.
One way attorneys overcharge is through hourly billing. If an attorney is paid through this method, he or she has an incentive to take longer on your case. For example, an attorney might take 4 hours to do the work they could have otherwise done in 1. Some clients find themselves billed additionally for paper and stamps. These fees add up and, in the end, the client is left with a bill significantly larger than was warranted or expected. At the Reid Law Firm, we offer a flat fee for nearly all cases. Under this method, no matter how long it takes to complete a case, your fee will not go up. You know upfront how much you will owe. If the price is too high, you’ll know well before you sign any contracts. This also gives us an incentive to work faster. If we’ve already been paid, we are motivated to get the case taken care of.
Another way attorneys take advantage of their clients is through a lengthy contract. Often attorneys will use legal jargon to confuse the client. At the Reid Law Firm, nearly all contracts are one page. We keep everything straightforward and walk through each paragraph before signing. We give our clients time to look over everything and consider their options. We welcome all questions, suggestions or additions. Some law firms charge for the initial consultation and pressure the client to sign the contract right away. This behavior should raise a red flag in your mind. Attorneys should make you feel comforted and understood. They should not make you feel pressured or uneasy.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions!
Our third piece of cautionary advice is to always ask questions. If you have a question about your contract, bring it up right away. You should feel comfortable asking your attorney “uncomfortable” questions. This person is meant to be your representation, so ideally you will have a close and trusting relationship. If there is something in your bill you don’t understand, I implore you to ask your attorney to explain. If you feel there is a way to make the process more cost effective for you, bring that to your attorney’s attention. The best attorneys are there for the client through each step in the process.
No matter the size of your case, you deserve to be represented for a fair price. If you aren’t sure what is a fair price, I’d advise asking around. See what prices various attorneys in your area offer and make your decision from there. At the Reid law firm, we offer free initial consultations. This offers any possible clients to get a chance to sit down and talk to us without feeling pressured. You want to get a good feeling from your attorney. Don’t hire an attorney you don’t feel you can trust.
Contact an Attorney Today!
If you'd like to schedule a time to talk, please contact the Reid Law Firm today at 205-913-7406! You can also text us at 205-913-7406 for a quick answer to any legal question. Chris Reid can be reached by email at email@example.com. All communication to the Reid Law Firm is protected by attorney client privilege, so any information submitted will be held in confidence. Initial consultations are always free. For a complete list of our practice areas, please visit reidlawalabama.com.
Reid Law Firm Practice Areas
Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).