In 2020, people in the United States spent more on legal fees— spending an average of $155.87 on legal fees per consumer unit, which is an increase from $133.3 spent in the previous year.
For many, the cost of seeking legal counsel is the biggest barrier preventing people from seeking crucial legal advice. Legal advice is not just for the wealthy, or for big corporations!
Many people will find that they are in need of legal documents being drafted to manage their personal life such as their family needs as well as creating a bundle of documents that detail their end of life wishes.
In addition, small businesses and founders who are just starting will need to curate multiple essential documents to have their business up and running. With high legal fees, many small businesses may feel priced out compared to larger corporations.
Studies find that legal document drafting can range from $90-to $550 and oftentimes upwards, depending on complexity which is why our primary focus, here at go NDA, is to make life simpler and legal support more affordable.
All of this begs the question, how much do lawyers actually cost? Almost everyone, at some point, will require a lawyer in their life, whether for a family matter, a criminal case, or even something simple like drafting a contract. The first question that is usually asked is:
How much will a lawyer cost?
Well, the answer is that this can vary state by state and will often vary sector by sector but it seems that the average cost of a lawyer, in any legal field, is $250 – $350 per hour. And whilst there are alternative fee methods available when seeking legal counsel, this is dependent on the type of law that the case is based on.
- Hourly Rate
Hourly rate is the most common cost structure used by attorneys, and you will see this fee arrangement used in all areas of law.
A massive downside of an hourly rate cost structure is that you might not know the final cost of the legal service and this can leave many feeling anxious about the final fee.
- Flat Fee Rate
A flat fee is a pre-arranged total fee for legal services usually that is paid upfront before the lawyer begins work on your case and is most commonly seen in matters such as bankruptcies or contract drafting.
- Retainer Fees
A retainer fee cost will coincide with an hourly rate cost structure and requires a client to make a lump sum deposit from which the attorney will then deduct hourly fees.
- Contingency Fees
Contingency fees are commonly used in civil law cases like personal injury, insurance claims, or medical malpractice lawsuits where the goal is a monetary settlement.
How much does the US spend on legal fees?
Companies in the US spend more on lawyers and other legal services than anywhere else in the world, according to an Acritas study. The findings in the report are derived from an annual survey of more than 2,000 chief legal officers and general counsel across multiple industries worldwide.
According to the Acritas study, US companies spend a whopping 166% more on legal services than their global counterparts. This is roughly 0.4% of their revenue. The average spend per dollar of revenue varies by company size, with larger companies benefitting more; and by industry, with the real estate, banking and technology sectors spending the most.
In comparison, the average legal spend at companies around the world is 0.23% of revenue, according to Acritas. The study found that companies with less than $500 million in total revenue spent over twice the global average on legal services and yet, those with at least $6 billion in revenue spent just one-quarter of the global average.
The findings are clear, legal fees in the US are not affordable for the average person or for smaller businesses.
What happens when legal counsel is not affordable?
Without affordable legal counsel, many people are now managing the legal aspects of their life independently, which can be detrimental in the long term and navigating the complexities of the law can severely impact a person’s mental health.
❕ In 70 to 98 per cent of cases in America’s civil courts today, one or both parties are not represented by a lawyer.
University of Southern California law professor Gillian Hadfield explored the imperfections of the legal market in a February 2000 law review article and is quoted saying:
“Legal help is what economists call a “credence good”—a good “provided by an expert who also determines a buyer’s needs” because the buyer is “unable to assess how much of the good or service they need.”
What does this mean? A credence good is a product or service that is difficult for the customer to value, even after it has been consumed. In simple terms, this means that many consumers are unable to justify or value the costs of legal fees. The impact of this is that fewer and fewer people, and small businesses, are seeking legal advice.
A recent study in the UK found that just 13% of 9,703 small businesses thought that lawyers provided a cost-effective means of resolving legal issues, meaning that there is a strong perception that providers of legal services aren’t good value for money.
Here at go NDA, it’s our belief that our approach to pricing and delivering legal services is the way of the future. Quite simply, it allows smaller businesses to buy, and budget for, key services on an affordable basis.
How can go NDA help?
Launched in 2021, go NDA, has helped hundreds of individuals and professionals access affordable legal support, and draft and complete hundreds of customized documents and in doing so we have made it easy to protect ideas, business, and the family unit.
We can help:
- Reduce waiting times
Our template library holds legal templates that are ready to use and reduce complexity with standardization and we continue to add legal templates to our library to help you.
- Execute documents in real-time
You can customize documents using our mobile app. Allowing full execution i.e. detail input, e-signature functionality, PDF copies – all in one place.
- Save on legal costs
With automation and real-time usability, you can get things done efficiently and affordably.
In addition, we have curated collections of template sets that help you decide what templates you need.
All of this is backed by AWS which means that your documents are secure and encrypted.
We, at go NDA, know how costly it can be to seek legal advice and with that in mind, we have designed our app with a variety of subscription plans with pricing to fit any budget to allow you to seek legal support at a fraction of the costs of traditional legal counsel.
With go NDA, you can receive and complete documents for free and to gain access to our template library and send documents, you can select the subscription plan that best fits your budget and needs.
Our app currently offers free and premium subscription models:
- Free For Life!
This subscription plan is perfect for creatives and founders starting their businesses and side hustles. Users can access the right amount of legal templates for free and be able to execute them in one place. All templates can be used as many times as you need them.
- Go Premium!
It’s pretty simple, upgrade your account for $29 a month and access ALL legal templates for your business and family needs. All templates can be used as many times as you need them.
- Go Premium Plus!
By paying for your subscription for the year, users can save almost 50%. The annual subscription is $191.
Here at go NDA, we have created an app that can offer all of this and more! To see how we can help you, our app is now available to download on the App Store and Google Play.