A lawyer costs $150 to $400 per hour, depending on their location, field, and experience level. Some lawyers charge a $500 to $5,000 retainer fee, which is essentially a down payment based on their hourly rate. Other lawyers charge a flat fee for basic services, including:
A lawyer gives legal advice and completes paperwork on behalf of clients. Lawyers who have passed the bar exam can represent their clients in court and advocate on their behalf. These services save their clients the time and stress it would take to complete legal work on their own.
Specific responsibilities of a lawyer include:
Most lawyers offer free consultations before taking on your case. This allows you to ask questions and helps them decide how long the case might take and whether you're likely to win. However, once you hire a lawyer, you will be billed for phone calls, questions, and emails.
A person must get a bachelor's degree and a juris doctor degree (J.D.) from an accredited law school to become a lawyer. Law school takes 3 years, or 7 years including a bachelor's degree. They must also pass the bar exam in order to represent clients in court.
The terms "lawyer" and "attorney" are usually used interchangeably, but they are technically different. A lawyer is someone who graduated from law school and can give legal advice but may or may not have passed the bar exam.
An attorney is a person who passed the bar exam and is now qualified to represent clients in court. All attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are attorneys.
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