Why Attorney Fees and Costs Vary

Everyone wants to be careful with attorney fees, us included. Potential clients always ask us how much their case will cost, but unfortunately, we can’t provide much insight into their final bill, because there are too many factors at play. 

What we can do, is educate our clients as to the value of our prices and the factors influencing the costs. 

1. Hourly rate: The hourly rate for attorneys can vary greatly.  Some attorneys charge as low as $200/hour, and some as high as $600/hour.  The factors influencing the hourly rate include:

  • The quality of law school attended
  • The amount of time the attorney spends keeping up with legal matters and changing case law, and…
  • The tools the attorney uses to manage the case.

At the Law Office of Meredith Baker LLC., we  believe in excellence. Meredith Baker attended Brooklyn Law School, a tier one school (there are three tiers of law school, which are ranked by a national and neutral agency).  Further, while the minim number of hours required by the state bars are approximately 12, Ms. Baker attends approximately sixty hours of continuing legal education a year, to ensure that she is familiar with new statutes, case law, new practice procedure, updated technical tools, and to keep her trial practice keen. Meredith is committed to keeping her practice at peak performance for the benefit of her clients. Our office also uses state of the art client case management systems and billing systems and we ensure that we are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and we keep our client’s information secure in a cloud server, while also employing the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) at all times.
 
2. Fees: There are many fees associated with litigation, which cannot be avoided. At the Law Office of Meredith Baker LLC., we want to ensure you that no stone is unturned when we are representing you. Some fees include:

  • Deposition fees
  • Transcription fees
  • Polygraph fees
  • Psychological evaluations
  • Assets searches and…
  • Private investigator fees

Many attorneys do not employ all of the tools available to assist their clients. At our office, we make sure that we employ the most qualified experts, and while it may be cost-effective to be financially conservative at the outset of the case, it will not pay off in the end.

For example, we had a client who was accused of sexually molesting his daughters, and his ex-wife claimed that was the reason why he couldn’t see his younger son. We had our client submit to a polygraph, and a psychological evaluation, both of which showed that he was neither a threat, not lying about never inappropriately touching his older daughters. In the end, our client had 100% of his expenses reimbursed by court order, because we proved beyond a doubt that our client was truthful, and the mother had ulterior motives.

3. Availability: Most attorneys are only available, via their receptionist, and/or during regular weekday hours. Even then, it can take days to hear back from the attorney. At our office, Meredith is available 24/7 to her clients via cell phone. Although there is only so much that can be done outside of business hours, Meredith is available to assist clients with issues that they need to solve immediately, such as a parent not showing up for time-sharing, an arrest incident, a traffic violation, and/or general advice on how to handle a multitude of situations. Clients who take advantage of access to top-notch legal advice have fewer incidents of events spiraling out of control, which end up costing the client more in the end.