So, I need a lawyer. Who do I hire? How much will it cost to hire an attorney?

April 11, 2023 by

Finding the Right Lawyer


You have a challenging decision ahead of you. Maybe you were hurt in in a car accident or arrested. Maybe you were recently served with legal papers or maybe you made the decision that you were going to finally get that estate plan prepared to protect your family. Now, you need to find the right attorney.

What do you do? How do you find the right attorney?


Here are some common situations where you should consider meeting with a lawyer:

  • Before buying or selling real estate
  • Before signing a contract with major financial provisions
  • Before you get married (preferably months before the wedding)
  • Before making a will or planning your estate
  • Before organizing a business
  • Whenever you are arrested or charged with a crime
  • When you are involved in an accident in which there is significant damage to persons or property
  • When there are changes in your family status, such as marriage, adoption, divorce
  • When you have tax problems or questions
  • When a lawsuit is brought against you, or you want to bring a lawsuit against someone

Top Tips for Finding the Right Attorney:

  1. Look for referrals from trusted sources (close family or friends)
  2. Is the lawyer experienced in handling cases or situations like yours?
  3. Does the attorney understand your goals and embrace your values?
  4. What is that lawyer or law firm’s reputation in the community?
  5. Are they actively involved with different bar associations?
  6. Do they know the judge and the judge’s policies and procedures?

Additional things to consider when picking an attorney.

  1. Does the staff seem competent and helpful?
  2. Was the office quick to respond? Quick Note: Most law firms should contact you within a business day or two.
  3. Was the attorney attentive? Did they take notes during your consultation?
  4. Did the attorney answer your questions?
  5. Is the attorney and staff professional?
  6. What about their appearance, did the attorney appear polished?
  7. What about their office? Did they meet you at a fast-food restaurant?
  8. Is the attorney taking notes during your initial consultation?
  9. Does the attorney seem honest and genuine? Or, in the alternative, is the attorney trying to sell you a dream by telling you everything that you want to hear?

How much is the right attorney going to cost?

It depends. It might be $1,000.00 or it might be $25,000.00. Since every case is unique, the time and labor involved, and the customary fees charged based on the skill of your attorney and the novelty of your case will determine the actual cost for the case. Here are the factors that attorneys need to consider when quoting someone costs:

  • The time and labor required
  • The novelty and difficulty of the questions
  • The skill requisite to perform the legal service properly
  • The preclusion of other employment by the attorney due to acceptance of the case
  • The custom fee
  • Whether the fee is fixed or contingent
  • Time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances
  • The amount involved and the results obtained
  • The experience, reputation, and ability of the attorneys
  • The "undesirability" of the case
  • The nature and lengths of the professional relationship with the client
  • Awards in similar cases

Standard Guaranty Ins. Co. v. Quanstrom, 555 So. 2d 828 (Fla. 1990)

The difference between contingency fees and hourly fees

Some cases may be eligible for a contingency fee. That means, you do not pay anything unless there is a particular outcome in your case. Generally, the contingency fee will be a percentage of recovery or some other similar calculation.

Other cases may be eligible for a flat fee. That means, the price you pay is the only attorney’s fees you pay for that case or that portion of your case (for example, some attorney’s will charge a flat fee to draft a certain document, but that fee may not include litigation).

The most common type of fees charged by attorneys are hourly fees. Often, this means paying a fee upfront (sometimes called a retainer) to the attorney to start the work. Then, the attorney and/or staff bill against that initial fee. Most family law, divorce cases, and litigation cases are done on an hourly basis. It is important to discuss budget limitations, payment plan options, and policies if additional payments are needed.

What can you do to limit or control your attorney's fees?

Sometimes, attorney’s fees can get out of control. The first thing you need to do is a cost-benefit analysis to determine how much time and money you are willing to invest in your case. It is not just about getting more than you put into your case either. You need to consider:

  • Your appetite for litigation and/or desire for settlement;
  • Willingness or desire to invest in experts or other ancillary professionals;
  • Financial flexibility, including whether you may exceed any proposed budget or adjust it upwards as the matter requires; and,
  • Try to gauge the wherewithal of the opposing party and anticipate the type of opposition they are capable of mounting.

Award-Winning Lawyers at the TK Law Firm:

Contact TK Law and speak with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your case and develop a budget and strategy that fits your goals. We can help you plan your case out in phases so that you can budget your time, money, and energy towards reaching a resolution.


Altamonte Springs Office
999 Douglas Avenue
Suite 3333
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Downtown Orlando Office
37 N. Orange Avenue
Suite 500b
Orlando, FL 32801
CALL (407) 834-4847