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Fixed Rate Representation
What Are Your Legal Needs?

Fixed rate representation is when the client pays one price for full legal representation in a single matter. The attorney sets the rate based on the general factors of your case and considers how long similar cases took. For instance, divorce without kids $500 and a divorce with kids $1,000. The attorney is responsible for filings, appearances, motions, pleas, and any other issues that may arise. Fixed rate representation is also known as:
  • Fixed pricing representation
  • Flat fee representation
There are circumstances where the attorney may not cover everything related to an initial case. For example: You were cited for a DUI after an accident and hired a lawyer for $2,000 to represent you in court. That lawyer is responsible for court-related events (appearances, pleadings, filings...) regarding your DUI. After the DUI case is settled with the State, the family of the other driver brings a civil suit against you. You then have to either retain a new lawyer or make another financial agreement with your previous attorney.
Fixed Rate Representation
Benefits Risks

If your case is complex, involves a lot of research, or appearances, you can save money by not paying an hourly rate.

You do not see a detailed bill of tasks, rates, or materials spent on your case, just the flat rate that you owe.

There are no surprises in regard to fees; you are given a set price.

It is possible that you may overpay for services provided, if things get resolved faster than expected.

Things can move pretty quickly. The attorney wants to be as close to their estimated amount of hours on the case, not exceed it.

Your lawyer may rush through their work, sacrificing the quality of work.
Fixed rate representation is normally used in cases that are form intensive and not complex or will not expand in scope. These include:
  • Criminal and misdemeanor cases
  • Immigration cases
  • Uncontested divorce
  • Personal bankruptcy
  • Drafting a will
You and your attorney will meet and discuss what is covered and what is not. You may meet in person or communicate through emails, over the phone, text messages, and written notices, forms, briefs, or memos. This will be written up in a legal contract that you and the lawyer will sign. If you are unsure, ASK your lawyer for clarification. Do not assume something is included. You will risk having your case thrown out if a document was not filed on time or properly because of a miscommunication between you and your lawyer.
Under fixed rate representation, you are protected under the same rules as if you hired a lawyer full-time. Be careful, because this is not true for all forms of representation.