Worried you cannot afford an employment attorney? We’ve all heard the stories about how expensive lawyers are. For example: An attorney requires a retainer to start working on a case, which presents an insurmountable financial hurdle. Or a firm charges on an hourly basis, but that hourly rate almost always costs hundreds of dollars. And in addition, some firms bill you down to the minute. This means that if it takes less than an hour to work on your case, it isn’t free. Rather, the attorney will bill for whatever segment of the hour was spent on the task. In some cases, they will round that segment to the nearest billing unit established by that specific attorney or firm. For instance, an attorney might spend 12 minutes on a task, but bill for 15 because they won’t bill for any smaller unit of time.
If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Once you include that paralegals and other support staff also bill for their time, it can seem even more confusing.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost?
Hourly billing is one method attorneys and law firms use to determine how much they charge to represent you. Another option is using a contingency agreement. This billing method typically means that an attorney or a law firm requires no payment up front to work on your case. Instead, they only collect a fee if they win your case for you. These attorneys may still track their time, but their fees are often an agreed-upon percentage of the case’s outcome. For example, they might collect 30% of your award, plus expenses they paid on your behalf while working the case.
Working With a LegalASAP Employment Attorney: How Much Will It Cost?
Each attorney and law firm has their own billing arrangements. However, there are some consistent practices when you look at the legal area each one specializes in. For example, almost all divorce attorneys charge by the hour, while most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis.
Many employment attorneys charge an initial consultation fee that can range from $75 to $250. These initial consultations typically last one hour. During that time, the attorney you speak with can listen to your story. Then, they’ll give you an opinion on whether the facts you shared make your case a good one to pursue.
Working with us is different. The attorneys in LegalASAP’s nationwide network will always offer you a free, no-obligation consultation. That consultation can take place over the phone if you prefer, in fact. Our attorneys are happy to answer questions and help you assess whether you have a case without you owing any money at all for legal advice.
What Happens if an Employment Attorney Takes My Case?
If one of our attorneys takes your employment case, you won’t have to worry about coming up with any money. Every LegalASAP employment attorney works on contingency. This means they don’t receive any payment unless you win a cash settlement from your prior employer.
Once they win your case and know you will receive cash, your attorney deducts legal fees from that settlement. The amount our attorneys take depends on the specifics of your case. Factors that influence the fee include:
- How many employees work for your former employer
- What type of employment case you filed (i.e., discrimination, wage theft, etc.)
Generally, our attorneys take no more than 30% of your settlement amount unless the case goes to trial. If a jury hears the case in court, the contingency fee is typically no more than 40%.
How Much Money Could You Possibly Win?
There are established dollar amount limits that you can win in successful employment claims. And the federal government sets these amount limits, not each judge, jury or employment attorney. The government categorizes the limits on compensatory and punitive damages based on the size of your former employer:
- $50,000 is the limit for employers with 15-100 employees
- $100,000 is the limit for employers with 101-200 employees
- $200,000 is the limit for employers with 201-500 employees
- $300,000 is the limit for employers with more than 500 employees
The compensatory and punitive damages most people win include back pay as well as lost benefits. Back pay is any work income you lost (wages, salary, bonuses, etc.) between your job termination and claim settlement dates. Lost benefits include things like insurance, paid vacation time, and pension accruals.
Talk to an Attorney for Free About Your Potential Employment Claim Today
Knowing if you have a case against your former employer isn’t always clear. A trusted, accomplished employment attorney can answer your questions and help you determine if you have a case. LegalASAP’s consultations are always free and don’t obligate you to do anything else. Deciding if and how you want to proceed with your potential case is always 100% up to you.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Complete your free online employment case evaluation now!
Lisa Allen is a writer and editor who lives in suburban Kansas City. She holds MFAs in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry, both from the Solstice Low-Residency Program in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College. Prior to becoming a writer, Lisa worked as a paralegal, where she specialized in real estate in and around Chicago.