Lawyers Retainer – What Services Do They Offer?

How to Hire a Lawyer on Retainer

A lawyer is an official expert to execute ruling in a 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 may be costly, and, for some cases, you need to hire a lawyer on a retainer fee. A retainer fee is a guarantee that the lawyer will be available to work solely on your case as the need arises. In other terms, the lawyer will always be available on call to assist you and drop other cases as per the necessity of situation.

Retainer means the advance payment to an attorney for services to be performed, intended to insure that the lawyer will represent the client and that the lawyer will be paid at least that amount. Commonly in matters which will involve extensive work there will be a retainer agreement signed by the attorney and client. Further payments for services can be expected as the time spent on the legal matter increase. Most lawyers do not want to be owed money, and wish to pay either in advance or promptly as the work is performed.


Step 1

Find a lawyer who has experience in the type of law that you 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. Civil and criminal cases are the areas that lawyers work on retainer.

Step 2

Find out if the lawyer you’re using is currently a member of the bar association in your state. This is achieved by contacting your state’s bar. If he or she isn’t a member, report them immediately for practicing law unauthorized.

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 by check, credit card, or cash.

Tips & Warnings

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

•Hiring a lawyer on a retainer fee is 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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