A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade. — Abraham Lincoln
Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
I know I just need a _____. Will it cost an arm and a leg? The short answer is no, in all likelihood it will not. We are constantly expanding our web-based offerings to help make our delivery of legal services more efficient for us and cost-effective for you. Even if you deal with a real live human to get the process started, you can rest assured that our fees will be as reasonable as we can afford to make them. What are your rates? That depends, but that's because we know that you work hard for your money. As a result, we always aim to deliver our services at a fee that you will find fair and reasonable.
In many matters, we have fixed-fee arrangements (see the next question) that allow us to deliver great service at an even better price.
In hourly retained matters, we charge $300-350 an hour for attorney work, and $125 an hour for law clerk or paralegal work, billed in six (6) minute increments and with a minimum entry per task of 2/10ths (.2) hours. Depending on the circumstances, reduced hourly rates may be available, such as for guardian ad litem work or appointed work on behalf of respondents in guardianship proceedings.
Do you offer set fees? Of course. We offer set fees in estate planning matters (including for example powers of attorney, wills, common trusts, medical directives/medical powers of attorney, and designation regarding remains affidavits), uncontested guardianships, uncontested divorces or separations, and deed preparation.
Set fees, when offered, buy you “up to” a fixed amount of staff time, with overages beyond that fixed amount billed at hourly rates. If we do not already offer the work you need on a set fee, we will be happy to discuss the possibility.
When you charge a set fee, how do you determine what to charge? Set fees vary depending on the complexity of your particular circumstances and get you "up to" a specified amount of staff time. On our web-forms, you will automatically be given an estimate of the fee once you complete the form. The estimated fee will vary based on the complexity of your needs and the amount of additional time your answers indicate that we will need to spend on the matter. The ultimate fee could be higher if your matter requires an inordinate amount of time, as will be explained in detail in the engagement letter. With in-person and telephone consultations, we will generally give you an estimate of the set fee at the end of the consultation.
Do you take cases on a contingency basis? No. We do, from time to time and in appropriate cases, take matters on an hourly basis with both a cap and contingency component; however, a substantial deposit towards fees and costs is usually required.
Do you take pro bono cases? Yes, but our pro bono caseload is currently full and the individual pro bono clients we currently have will keep us busy for quite a while. Please do not contact us with urgent requests for pro bono services.
Our pro bono caseload includes our work to organize and sponsor name and gender marker change clinics in the community. Keep an eye on our Blog for announcements about upcoming clinics.
If you are facing a civil law issue (such as an unlawful eviction or other non-criminal law matter), you may qualify for assistance through Legal Aid.
If you have a pro bono request that is NOT time sensitive and that you think your matter would be appropriate for consideration, if you would like information about the next clinical program BaryLaw will sponsor, or if you have suggestions for a clinical program, please use the Contact Us form.
How much do you charge for consultations? The consultation fee is $300 for up to an hour. In estate planning matters with a set fee over $1,000, we consider the consultation fee when determining the set fee we are able to offer.
What sort of retainer/deposit do you require? For in-person set fee matters, we usually require pre-payment of one-half (1/2) of the set fee as a deposit. For set fee matters where you commence the process through one of our online forms, the entire auto-estimated fee is due as a deposit when you submit the form. You can pay either through the online methods provided, or mail in a check. Of course, the mail takes longer — so if you are in a hurry, we recommend you pay online or call our office and give your credit card information to a member of our staff during a live phone call (not in a voicemail or email).
In hourly matters, we will determine an appropriate deposit amount depending on the unique facts of your situation.
What happens to my deposit between the time I pay it to you and the time the fee is earned in full? All deposits are held in our firm’s trust account. We bill against the deposit as we earn our fee. Our fee is considered earned on an hourly basis as we expend time on your matter.
Do you accept credit cards? Yes. Please note that there is a convenience fee for credit card payments (see next question).
What are the convenience fees for payments via credit card? We pass the processing fees on to you via a flat 3% convenience fee. The convenience fee is then included in the charge as a single transaction together with the amount otherwise due.
Do you accept wire transfers? We do, but you will need to contact us for that information.