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Why Do Lawyers Charge So Much?

Dena Standley | July 24, 2023

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Hiring a lawyer for a debt collection matter can be a costly endeavor. SoloSuit can help you fight against debt collectors and even respond to lawsuits effectively–all without the outrageous costs of hiring an attorney.

Lawyers, like doctors, bill hundreds of dollars per hour for their services. That is outrageous for an average consumer earning far less than that. Remember that the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour.

Lawyers know that their fees are high. In fact, some lawyers have said they could not afford their own services on their current salary.

So, why do they charge so much money? Let us look at some reasons lawyers give to justify the high cost of their services.

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Why are lawyers so expensive?

Lawyers do not just charge outrageous hourly rates. Sometimes, you must deposit a retainer of at least $3,000 for them to start working on your case.

And even though that may be too high for you, there are some legitimate reasons why lawyers can be so expensive.

Lawyers go to school for a long time

A person who wants to practice law in the United States must attend law school for at least three years. And that is after completing a bachelor's degree, which takes four years if you study full-time. Part-time students can take up to five years to earn their bachelor's degree and longer than three years at law school.

Generally, it takes seven years (three for the Juris Doctor - JD and four for the bachelor's degree). Lawyers who want to specialize in a specific area must earn a master of Law (LLM), which takes an additional year.

Aside from the time, law school is expensive. Most lawyers start practicing with a mountain of student loans on their backs.

So it is understandable that they will consider the time and money spent mastering their skills.

You don't need a lawyer to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

Lawyers charge based on experience

New lawyers generally charge lower fees, while those with years of experience will ask for more money. So, if you value knowledge and reputation, you will need to pay more.

That is not to say that a new lawyer is not any good. It just means that building a reputation in the field takes time. Sometimes a newer (cheaper) lawyer can be just what you need if your case is not complicated.

Your lawsuit is unique

Every case is unique. Even if your lawsuit seems identical to another of your lawyer’s clients, a careful lawyer will evaluate your case independently. Familiarizing themself takes time and mental work. When lawyers make an invoice, they will include that time.

Lawyers have to keep up to date with new laws and landmark cases

Aside from researching and learning about landmark cases and decisions, lawyers must understand how new or revised laws affect their clients. Hiring a lawyer who does not keep refreshing their knowledge and honing their skills can cost you a lawsuit even if you have a strong case.

Lawyers know the value of their time and will charge you for the extra work they do to stay current in their field.

Settle a debt collection lawsuit without hiring a lawyer.

You are paying for peace of mind

If you were to lose sleep working for someone else, would you charge them for it? Lawyers handle the tough calls, create, fill and file legal forms, and worry about your well-being on your behalf.

Naturally, they will want you to compensate them for stressing out to afford you some peace of mind.

Is hiring a lawyer worth it?

As we have seen, lawyers charge you for the time they spent studying, the years they have been practicing, and all the time and effort they spend staying current in the field. They bill for the time spent reviewing your specific case and taking the load off your back.

But is hiring a lawyer worth all that money? The answer depends on why you need an attorney. If you are dealing with a complicated lawsuit requiring a good understanding of the law, you may be better off with an attorney.

Let's take a look at an example.

Example: Tina is being sued by a debt collector. She feels stressed about representing herself, but after looking online, she realizes it will cost several hundred dollars to hire an attorney to take on her case. With SoloSuit, she can make her own Answer and have an attorney review it at a much more affordable rate. Tina uses SoloSuit to draft and file her Answer document, and the case ends up being dismissed. She saves hundreds of dollars and feels empowered, having represented herself.

So, if you prefer to avoid spending buckoo bucks on a debt collection case, SoloSuit can help you.

Respond to a debt collection lawsuit without hiring an attorney

You can save yourself the time, money, and stress of finding a lawyer when you represent yourself in your debt collection case. Here’s how.

If you’ve been sued for debt, the first step to beating your opponent in court is to respond to the lawsuit with a written Answer. SoloSuit can help you draft and file your own, customized Answer in a matter of minutes online.

Follow these three steps while drafting your Answer:

  1. Respond to each claim listed in the Complaint.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses.
  3. File the Answer in court, and send a copy to the opposing attorney.

Draft and file your Answer in all 50 states with SoloSuit.

To learn more about these three steps, check out this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

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