Lawyers are expensive. At Held Law Firm, we do everything we can to save our clients money. Here are some tips for how to save money on your legal bill:
1. Use email, rather than call. First of all, you will probably get a quicker response from me. We’ve been known to responded to emails in the middle of the night. Plus, it takes us less time to respond to an email than to return a call. And, if I return a call and you aren’t available, I’ve just charged you $30 to leave a message. With an email, at least my response will likely address the issue you contacted me about. Emails also memorialize for both of us what I said. That way you don’t wind up getting charged for me to answer the same question twice.
2. Ask lots of questions in one email. I usually charge my minimum 1/10th of an hour to respond to an email, even if it’s long. But I can’t generally charge less than 1/10th of an hour. I try to avoid charging several tenths of an hour in a single day. But even so, you are going to get charged less for one longer email than for several short ones.
3. See if my assistant can answer the question. They can’t give legal advice, but they can almost always answer anything else. For example, they can usually answer when I’m going to be in, or questions about your bill. They often know when your next court date is, if we received a response from the other side or not, whether something got mailed, etc. If they can help you, take advantage of it. They bill at 1/3 of my hourly rate.
4. Ask me what evidence and documents I need, and get them for me. For instance, it takes forever for me to get doctor’s reports and school records. If there’s already an open court file, go make a copy of the whole file and bring it to me. Those two steps alone can save the average client several hundred dollars.
5. If you don’t have one yet, get a cell phone or iPad. Seriously. If I can communicate with you quickly, it will save you enough money on your legal bill to pay for the service and the phone. You know you wanted one anyway.
6. If we ask you to do something, do it as soon as possible. The longer your file is open, the more bad things can happen and the more things cost. The cases we’ve won for our clients most cheaply all involved clients who got me everything almost immediately. It helps me to get the court date and quickly close the file.