There may come a time in your life when you need legal counsel. Whether you’re starting a business, get in trouble with the law, or have sustained a personal injury, working through this process with a reputable lawyer can make things much easier on you. However, if money’s already tight, hiring a lawyer might be the last thing that you want to be spending your hard-earned cash on. So to help ensure that the lawyer you do end up hiring will be financially worth it to you, here are three things you should consider before hiring legal counsel in any capacity.

Don’t Waste Your Money On A Lawyer With The Wrong Experience

While you might be tempted to just use the legal services of someone you already know, it’s very important that you find a lawyer who has actual experience in the precise part of the law that you’re needing help with. According to Junie Rutkevich, a contributor to LifeHack.org, the more complex your legal issue is, the more specialized of a lawyer you’re going to want to use. And although your cousin who’s a tax attorney might be offering you a great deal on his or her services, if you’re needing assistance with a criminal case, you’re going to be much better off spending your money on someone who has a greater chance of getting you a positive legal outcome.

Learn If The Consultation Is Free

Once you have a list of lawyers that you might want to consider using, you should then speak with a few to see if they’ll consult with you on your case prior to actually taking it. During this phase, HG.org shares that some lawyers or law firms will charge you a consultation fee while others won’t. If you’re particularly worried about money, you might want to start with lawyers that won’t be charging you this fee. To find this out, give the law office a call and ask about how they charge their clients. If they won’t give you any information about how they bill when you speak over the phone, HG.org warns that you should be careful with that person or firm.

See If They’re Open To Alternative Billing Procedures

Different lawyers or law firms will charge their clients in different ways. Some will charge a flat rate, some will bill you buy the hour, and some will take a percentage of any money that you win from your case. If the lawyer you’re wanting to use doesn’t traditionally bill their clients in a way that’s preferable to you, Doug Bend, a contributor to the Forbes Legal Council, recommends asking if they’re willing to try an alternative billing procedure that will allow you to work together without leaving you with a surprise bill at the end of your time together.

If you’re needing the services of a lawyer but are worried about the finances of it all, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you figure out this tough situation.

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