Why do lawyers charge so much? Find out why and how you can fight back

If you need an attorney, you know how expensive it can be. The average American earns far less than an attorney’s hourly fee. Why are their fees so high? How can you lower your legal fees? Read on to find out.

by Why do lawyers charge so much? Find out why and how you can fight back
updated May 11, 2023 ·  3min read

In the U.S., it seems access to basic legal advice is becoming a luxury for the wealthy. Attorney hourly rates average around $300 an hour (as of 2018), but there is no guarantee how many hours it will take to fix your problem. What about finding an attorney that does a great job? Are a few recommendations from friends and family all you really need when important legal needs are on the line?

You probably just need an attorney to help you draft a last will, review a business plan, or give you some advice on how to use a legal form. You don’t need criminal defense, you aren’t filing a lawsuit, but even these simple legal questions can get expensive quickly. 

Finding an attorney you can afford that is right for your needs isn’t just a problem for the public – attorneys aren’t happy either. It may seem like an attorney is robbing you blind with their hourly fees, but the truth is many are just staying afloat. They spend a lot of their time looking for clients, time that goes unpaid.

No one is happy—but LegalZoom can change that.

For an affordable price, you can join one of our legal plans and have access to a network of independent attorneys who consult with you about your legal issues. 

Legal help, no hourly rate

We think everyone should be able to get the legal help they need, so there are no hourly rates with a LegalZoom legal plan. You pay a flat fee once per month for unlimited 30-minute consultations about new legal topics. We combine subscription pricing, technology, and careful planning to keep these costs down.

Find a lawyer

When you get started with one of our legal plans, you’ll be directed to the directory of independent attorneys that are able to help you. Each attorney is rated, by customers like you, for their friendliness, knowledge, and responsiveness.

Attorney consultations

At the core of the plan are attorney consultations. This is a one on one conversation where you talk with the attorney, explain your issue, and get the legal advice you need. Your consultation is scheduled online, and your conversations with the attorney are strictly confidential.

So what can you talk to an attorney about? Just about anything you want. Get advice on how to change your estate plan, find out how to structure your business, and get invaluable help with your trademark, patent, or copyright claims.

Our plans let you ask a lawyer about a new legal topic during each consultation. The consultations last for 30 minutes, so prepare your questions in advance so you can make the most of your time.

Your membership also entitles you to a special annual legal checkup that lasts an hour. This consultation covers any life or business changes that have happened throughout the year (or expected changes for the upcoming year) that could impact your legal documents or needs.

Other legal help

The affordable attorneys in the network don’t just offer consultations; they can provide some legal services as well. Depending on the type of plan you’ve selected, you can schedule a legal document review or schedule tax advice from a tax professional through our partner, 1-800Accountant.

As a plan member, you also get a discount on the attorney’s hourly rate, should you decide to use them for more complex legal matters that require more than one 30-minute consultation.

Types of plans

There are two types of legal plans offered through LegalZoom: a personal legal plan, and a business legal plan. Our personal legal plan is designed for families and focuses on helping you, your spouse, and your dependent children with issues such as estate planning, family law, and personal taxes.

Our business legal plan that is perfect for small businesses. As a member of this plan, you can have an attorney help you with business legal questions, documents, and advice.

If you’re ready to get legal advice at an affordable price, check out LegalZoom’s legal plans.

Get legal help for your family or business TALK TO AN ATTORNEY

About the Author

Why do lawyers charge so much? Find out why and how you can fight back

In the U.S., it seems access to basic legal advice is becoming a luxury for the wealthy. Attorney hourly rates average a…

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.