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Why Do Lawyers Require Retainer Fees?

Short answer, to make sure they get paid. Rhetorically, why do doctors have a nurse at the door? Why do mechanics require payment before giving you the keys to your car? Why do contractors, painters, plumbers, etc. place materialmen’s liens on your property for the work that they do? To make sure that they get paid.

Lawyers practice law because they enjoy it, because they like the challenge, and to make their living. Like you, they have bills to pay. They have office overhead, dreams to fulfill, and little ones at home with their needs. Like you, they go to work to trade their time and expertise for compensation. The retainer insures that the attorney is compensated for his or her efforts.