Illinois Legal Services
For Entrepreneurs, Small Landlords & Property Owners
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Commonly Asked Questions
No. Experience has taught us that real-life questions which seem like they should be easy often have complicated answers due to the messy state of the law.
Setting aside time to really talk through your situation helps us provide thoughtful advice. Whether you want to discuss hiring us for additional services after the 50-minute consultation is entirely up to you. We’re happy to educate you about options including how to take on legal issues yourself and how to minimize attorney fees.
We don’t offer this option, but if it’s important to you to talk with an attorney for free we encourage you to find a firm that does. If you want to discuss your situation with our attorney, please schedule a 50-minute paid consultation.
If you want to discuss a particular legal issue, please set up a paid 50-minute consultation. Even if you’ve been doing research on your own, we need to discuss the situation that inspires your question before we can provide insight.
Every new matter starts with a 50-minute consultation. For information on what we offer after that point, please review our standard service menu! We’re proud to have an almost entirely flat-fee practice and find that our clients enjoy clarity on pricing.
Flat-fee services include however much time it takes us to perform the tasks listed in the Engagement Agreement. The fee doesn’t include costs that must be paid to anyone else or any services not specifically listed in the Engagement Agreement. Also, because we set aside resources based on project scope, we don’t offer refunds on flat-fee services even if all of the tasks in the package aren’t needed.
We generally think about the investment for your project as including legal fees, costs for necessary third-party services, the time and effort it will take you to participate in your matter, and your exposure to risks and liabilities.
Costs (expenses) for third-party services are not included in any of the legal fees listed on this website. Our clients pay costs directly to vendors, reimburse us, or provide a retainer to the firm to cover these expenses. Necessary third-party services may include but are not limited to:
- notary services,
- professional printing,
- research materials beyond the firm’s usual plan,
- delivery services and messengers,
- sheriff and process server fees,
- private investigators,
- court fees,
- subpoena fees,
- witness fees,
- court reporters,
- deposition transcripts,
- trial transcripts,
- trial exhibits,
- litigation support vendors,
- expert consultants,
- expert witnesses,
- arbitrators and mediators,
- interpreters, and
- specialty software required for a specific project.
An Engagement Agreement is a contract describing project scope and payment arrangements, and it’s also a map for a productive attorney-client relationship.
Our Engagement Agreement includes our Communication and Confidentiality Policies, which detail how our flat-fee services are delivered. We require that clients sign a new Engagement Agreement for each flat-fee service package purchased.
We take major credit cards and ACH (bank) transfers online. For flat-fee services, the initial payment must be made before work starts. Payment plans are available for services that cost more than $500.
In extraordinary circumstances, we may agree to accept a smaller flat fee in addition to a portion of a settlement payment or judgment.
Shifting your fees and costs to an opponent isn’t something to rely on in our practice areas. We require all clients to pay for our services up front.
Yes. Our standard rate for attorney time is $300/hour, billed in tenths of an hour. For example, a 15-minute attorney-client phone call to discuss the status of a case will cost $90.
New billable hour clients must provide a security retainer before work starts. A security retainer is a sum paid to us for the purpose of future payment for legal services, which we draw down as work is performed. Retainers for small projects start at $5,400. For work to continue, the retainer must be replenished when the balance drops below $900.
We use the information you give us to check whether we’ve helped someone who might be your opposing party! We also look at whether your matter seems like a good fit for our current availability. If we’re not able to assist you, we’ll let you know right away.
We’re a small team of one attorney and two legal assistants, and we work closely together to complete client projects. Legal work is always performed under the supervision and direction of our licensed attorney.
For flat-fee projects, most client communication takes place online, and clients are assigned a legal assistant for status updates and help gathering documents. Attorney phone or video calls, when necessary, are scheduled in advance. These details are included in our Engagement Agreement.
Clients can also choose to add on unlimited attorney phone and video calls at our standard hourly rate. A retainer of $900 (three hours of calls), which must be replenished whenever the balance drops below $450, is required to add this service.