The phrase “you get what you pay for” is applicable in most areas of life. This statement has been used to express to people that “cheap” is not usually “quality.” Of course there is a difference between high quality and price gouging, and a fair and reasonable price or rate that is commensurate with the expertise of the provider or demand for the product. When it comes to legal services provided by attorneys, there is most definitely a correlation between cheap and quality. The following is the case against being a bargain shopper in the legal industry.
Cheap attorneys are overworked.
To make a living, the bottom line on income is the most important number. Hiring a cheap attorney does not necessarily mean that they are a bad attorney. But it is indicative that they are overworked. When you charge less for your services, you are forced to take more clients. Since time is the one currency of which we can’t create more, it stands to reason that no one client is going to get the time and attention that they likely deserve. Depending upon your legal needs and situation, time and attention is a very important consideration.
Don’t use an attorney for personal injury that doesn’t handle this field often.
Your wife’s cousin who handles only divorce law may very well not be the best person to represent you in your personal injury case. While there’s a lot of people that seem almost excited and happy that you’re hurt that advertise on television and radio, the truth is, personal injury law is no less respectable than any other aspect of the legal profession. If you believe that you have a real case and need legal relief, using a firm that works with personal injury often and successfully is very important.
Cheap attorneys may be more inexperienced.
Credentials and experience are the absolute most important quality when looking for an attorney. A cheaper attorney may be younger or more inexperienced. While everyone deserves the chance to gain experience in their field, often they will do this by working under more experienced attorneys. When you hire someone that may cost more, also check to see if what their track record is with your type of case and how long they’ve handled this type of law. It’s worth the money to get the experience and success.
Check your billing statements carefully.
There’s an exception to every rule and unfortunately, there are some attorneys that over-bill their clients. This is absolutely unacceptable and should be reported to the state bar association immediately. Check to make certain that you are being billed for time that was spent on your case as agreed in your representation agreement. A cheap attorney may charge you a lesser amount of money up front and provide no accounting whatsoever of time spent on your case. This can also be a huge red flag that the appropriate amount of work is not being spent on your file.
These are some reasons that cheaper is not a “better deal” when choosing an attorney. The legal profession is reputable and has a long history of providing justice for those that need help. As with any profession, there are some that do better quality work than others. Make sure you are armed with proper information before you choose your attorney.
Christopher Steven is an avid blogger who is passionate about encouraging safety and and healthy practices in his own community. Christopher works with the Gorospe & Smith Divorce Law Firm in Tulsa, OK helping families through difficult situations.