Ask yourself , do I really need a lawyer? If there is little money at risk, you may be able to resolve the money issue with a business approach phone call or a letter. If the problem at hand is a little more involved, your answer may be found in a do-it-yourself handbook. Check out books by Nolo Press or visit your local library for similar books that you can take out.
Go to Small Claims Court – If the issue at hand is collecting a few thousand dollars, you can file for a hearing and have your day in court to be heard. You will not need a lawyer and the dispute can be handled by yourself. Make sure you are prepared for your day in court and that you have all the paper work with you to prove your case.
Buy unbundled legal service – There is a good chance you will only need a lawyer to obtain legal advice or review a contract for you. This is a very cost effective way to handle a legal matter that may not require a lawyer to do the entire job for you.
Knowledge is power – Regardless of the legal service you need from a lawyer; you should always educate yourself on the matter at hand. Learning the legal terminology can save you money by reducing the amount of time a lawyer needs to spend with you. Your lawyer should speak to you in plain English but there will be legal terms that he will use; get familiar with these words and what they mean.
Have all your information on hand – When you need to hire a lawyer, make sure that you have all the necessary information at hand. Saving your lawyer time will save you money. If there’s some information that you don’t have at the meeting, ask the lawyer if it can be faxed or emailed to him. Again, you need to reduce the time your lawyer needs in order to fulfill the service he is providing you.
Organize your questions – Write down all your questions you need to ask your lawyer. Be specific and clear when asking questions, in order to save your lawyer time and yourself money. Try and get all your questions answered with one phone call instead of several phone calls.
Ask your lawyer how he bills for his or her time – Not all lawyers bill by the hour. Many lawyers use different billing methods to lower the cost of their service. Ask your lawyer what alternative methods of billing he can offer you. If you’re involved in a personal injury claim, lawyers are usually paid from a percentage of what you receive from your claim.
Remain focused on your objective – Always remain focus on what you are trying to accomplish by hiring a lawyer. If you’re fighting for principles, your legal costs will most likely skyrocket. This also applies if want to take someone to court to harass them or prove a point. An unscrupulous lawyer might help you, but it will cost you big times. Ask yourself, do I have a true legal issue at hand or do I just want to get even with someone?