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.
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 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 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.
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:
- Refundable retainer: Credits the client’s payment towards the contingency fee if they win or settle the case.
- Retainer against hourly fees: Lawyer withdraws fees as earned, providing a balance accounting and refunding any unpaid amount at the case’s end.
- 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.