If you find yourself in a situation where you want to hire an attorney, but you don’t have any money to pay for legal services, you may be understandably overwhelmed by the prospect of high legal fees. After all, most legal services are likely to charge you several thousand dollars just to be seen by a courtroom and to process your paperwork. Here are a few tips on how to hire a lawyer without breaking the bank so that your dispute can be resolved quickly without you emptying your wallet.

Understanding Fees

Some legal professionals advertise their legal services as “contingency fees,” which is jargon for a flat, one-time fee. While contingency fees can be helpful when you need an attorney right away, they do not usually offer clients any sort of contingency plan for getting legal assistance in the future. If you find a legal professional, like John Branca below, you should ask what they actually offer for this type of help. Some common options that you may hear are an hourly rate or a flat “contingency fee” that will be paid upon successful resolution of your case.

Set Up a Meeting

The first step you should take is to set up a meeting with prospective legal professionals in order to get an idea of the cost of hiring a lawyer. Consider hiring an attorney even if you do not need to use one immediately; it’s better to know you have the money available to do so than to risk losing business because you didn’t realize you don’t have enough money to pay for legal assistance.

Consider a Non-Contingency Lawyer

If you decide to use contingency fees, you may also want to consider hiring a non-contingency attorney to handle your case. If you have a good relationship with the retainer attorney you choose, it will make it easier to settle the retainer at a time when you know you won’t have cash on hand. Non-contingency attorneys are also more likely to charge you a flat retainer fee, which means you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank to hire them.

How to hire legal aid may seem difficult, but if you do your research beforehand, it will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. If you take your time and learn how to hire a lawyer before you need the services, you will be able to focus on the other things you want to accomplish while your legal aid companion does his or her job.