Flat Fees vs Hourly Billing
The number one complaint about attorneys is that they cost too much money – and far too many Arkansans cannot afford legal services. Lion Legal Services works on a flat fee basis to the maximum extent possible. That allows us to stay predictable, keep your legal expenses down and be the high-value legal services for working Arkansans.
The Problem With Hourly Billing
This is the old, traditional model of paying for a lawyer. You give a lawyer a sum of money (usually $3000-$5000) and the lawyer holds it in a special bank account as a retainer fee.
The lawyer tracks all time spent on your matter in six-minute increments. If he spends 2 minutes leaving a voicemail, you are charged for six minutes. Every email, phone call, scribbled note, thought in the shower is billed against the balance in your account. At the end of the month, you may be shocked by how much time has accrued. Now your balance is half-way gone and you are nowhere near a legal solution.
Your monthly invoices are not predictable at all. You can’t budget for them because you have no idea from one day to the next how much time the attorney is spending on your matter. You are frustrated.
You then start thinking that he’s purposely taking as long as possible to resolve your problem so he can run up a big bill. You start to resent your attorney. You question if he really spent an hour on that letter or if he padded his bill to charge you more. Or did he send a letter because he knew it would take more time to write it, mail it, and process a response than if he just picked up the phone, after all he’s being paid by how long he can drag this out!
You realize, usually too late, that this billing arrangement creates an actual INCENTIVE for your lawyer to be inefficient and take as long as possible.
You are afraid to initiate communication with your attorney for fear of that $50 voicemail!
You are very upset and probably don’t even have your legal issue resolved because you ran out of money!!
Our clients overwhelmingly prefer paying fees in stages; however, some cases are just not suitable and must be billed hourly. When Lion Legal bills hourly we stay as close as possible to our predicted costs in the beginning and we keep the client in the loop as work progresses so you are never surprised by a big bill at the end of the month. We are detailed and transparent and up front – before we do the work that results in a big bill – so you can decide how to proceed while considering your budget.
The Benefits of Flat Fees – in stages
You talk to a lawyer, explain your issue and what you want to accomplish. The lawyer makes some predictions based on her experience and explains the general legal process for your type of issue.
You’re quoted a staged flat fee. You know how much it will cost you at the beginning for the first stage. You can budget around it – monthly, weekly, bi-weekly because your payment never changes.
Your attorney keeps you updated and works your case efficiently.
You feel the progress!
There are some cases where the services needed are actually unpredictable – usually when the opposing party does not have a lawyer, is completely unreasonable, files multiple motions, or there are multiple defendants.
There are other types of cases, such as appeals, particularly when we were not the trial level attorney, that makes predicting the research and effort impossible on the front end, preventing a flat fee or even a staged fee quote.
Flat fees give you better control of the cost and timing of your legal expenses, and a better understanding of what to expect. And at Lion Legal Services our flat fees save you money!
Our typical flat fees are shown on every page under the Legal Services section of this website.
Contested civil litigation and other hotly contested matters are not suitable even to staged flat fee billing because our staged fees are not designed – price wise – to ALL be needed in the same case. There is a lot of overlap in the services and at some point if a client needs many of the services it is more fair and less expensive to bill hourly for the client. Just like at a restaurant – if you are ordering everything on the a la carte menu, at some point it is less expensive to order a combo meal!
If WE have to charge you hourly because of the nature of your case, we are still very transparent and predict the cost and give detailed billing reports.
We Can Help
If you are looking for effective legal representation in Arkansas that won’t break the bank, look for us at LionLegalServices.com. We will help you figure out your options and what the likely realistic result is in your circumstances. Say the word and we’ll come Roaring to the Rescue!
Call For A Free Case Evaluation
Case evaluations are completely free. Call Lion Legal Services today at (501) 227-ROAR (that’s 227-7627) or Email Us to set up a free consultation.