How Much Does a Wrongful Termination Lawyer Cost

Gaining insight into potential expenses and fees is essential for a former employee when seeking the right wrongful termination attorney.

It’s important to be aware that the cost of a wrongful termination lawyer typically ranges from $100 to $350 per hour, and the overall expense is influenced by various factors including fee structures and the size of any settlements involved.

Wrongful termination lawyer
Wrongful termination lawyer costs: Photo source (Reddit)

Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Wrongful Termination Case?

A former employee does not need a lawyer to handle a wrongful termination case.

However, studies reveal the assistance of a lawyer often increases the likelihood of receiving a larger settlement. $100-$350 per hour is expensive, but experienced legal representation is often the difference between a small and large settlement.

Types of Lawyer Fees

An employment lawyer can charge different types of fees to handle a wrongful termination case:

  • Hourly fees,
  • Contingency fees,
  • Retainer fees, and
  • Unbundling of Services.

Every attorney is different and will charge based on the type of representation the client requires.

A lawyer may use a unique combination of fee types/amounts to receive compensation appropriate to the lawyer’s experience, required work, and time spent.

All aspects of a wrongful termination lawyer’s fees are subject to change.

Hourly Fees

Hourly fees describe the set amount a lawyer charges per hour of work on a client’s case.

The average hourly rate sits around $100-$350, but attorneys may charge much more or less depending on the case’s circumstances.

Hourly fees are well-applicable to individual services absent of vast, complex work.

Contingency Fees

Contingency fees describe when the attorney receives payment only if the client obtains monetary compensation from the case.

The contingency is a percentage of the client’s total monetary compensation and commonly comprises about one-third of the settlement.

However, the client is not required to pay the attorney any money if the client receives nothing from the case.

Contingency fees are a popular choice for wrongful termination lawyers due to the amount of work required to prepare for a case.

The contingency fee may increase as the court date nears because the attorney has less time to prepare.

A lawyer may also ask for a retainer or lump-sum fee when forming a contingency fee agreement to earn some form of payment in case the client receives no money.

Retainer Fees

A retainer is an upfront fee that clients pay for a set number of weekly hours, similar to a down payment for legal assistance.

There are different types of retainers:

  1. Refundable retainer: Credits the client’s payment towards the contingency fee if they win or settle the case.
  2. Retainer against hourly fees: Lawyer withdraws fees as earned, providing a balance accounting and refunding any unpaid amount at the case’s end.
  3. Cost retainer: Used for non-fee case expenses, with any remaining balance refunded to the client upon case conclusion.

Unbundling of Services

Unbundling is a legal fee arrangement where a client hires a lawyer for a specific issue, allowing them to seek other legal help or proceed without guidance for other matters.

It’s a cost-effective way to pay for only the needed services, rather than a broad range of services.