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Making an Attorney Engagement Letter
Lawyers and clients use Attorney Engagement Letters for the purpose of documenting the details of legal services to be delivered. By agreeing to this contract with each other, you and the client will know what to expect. Unlike many other sites that you might stumble upon, there is a lot more to Rocket Lawyer than templates. If the client refuses to pay or there's another issue, your Rocket Lawyer membership offers the optional benefit of Document Defense® protection.
An Engagement Letter is a legally binding agreement setting forth the nature of the attorney-client relationship. It sets out the terms for the representation, including the nature of the work to be completed, when payment will be due, and whether the agreement will be based on an hourly rate, a lump sum, or a contingency fee. Essentially, an Engagement Letter is a contract between the attorney and the client(s).
No matter how small the job, it is important to capture the details of any commitments to the client in writing. You may decide that you want to use this document due to the fact that, when done correctly, it yields this list of helpful benefits:
Any lawyer deciding against making an Attorney Engagement Letter should brace themselves for common issues like unrealistic requests and overdue invoices.
State laws differ on the requirement for an Engagement Letter. In certain states, legal services that are expected to cost less than $1,000, for example, do not require an Engagement Letter. However, even when Engagement Letters are not required, they are still considered to be best practice, as they provide a writing to point back to in case of a future disagreement or potential misunderstandings.
In order to complete your Engagement Letter, you'll need to come to an agreement between lawyer and clients on the following details:
As you might hope from a document like this one, any Attorney Engagement Letter built with Rocket Lawyer will also include the typical language with regard to the non-employment relationship between the lawyer and client, confidentiality, and finally, reimbursement for losses. During the process of making your document, you'll also have the ability to pick its state of jurisdiction. With the Rocket Lawyer document tool, you have the power to add more custom edits, as necessary.
An Engagement Letter is typically required before an attorney will conduct any work on the case. Discuss the Engagement Letter process with your prospective attorney, and ask how long their intake process generally takes. Law firms typically have Engagement Letters on file, only needing to change a few details for straightforward matters. More complicated cases or those with multiple clients may require additional time to prepare.
Rocket Lawyer documents, including the Attorney Engagement Letter template, are vetted by lawyers and legal staff, so you can feel confident when using them to manage your legal matters. To begin, just share more details about the project in a step-by-step interview, and we'll handle the rest. Before you sign your Engagement Letter, you can also try asking an attorney in our On Call network to review it for you. This method, in many cases, will be notably less time-consuming than meeting with and hiring a conventional provider at a cost that can add up to hundreds of dollars or more.
The attorney usually prepares an Engagement Letter for all of the parties to sign. The agreement might include:
The Rocket Lawyer Attorney Engagement Letter is available to use whether you are a lawyer providing services, or an individual contracting with a lawyer to receive legal services.
After creating the Attorney Engagement Letter with Rocket Lawyer, you'll have the ability to view it on any device, anytime. You also may engage with the contract in one or all of these ways: editing, adding signatures with RocketSign®, printing it out, and/or saving it in PDF format or as a Word document. Attached alongside each Attorney Engagement Letter, there's a list of instructions that you'll need to finalize the document. All signers should get a copy of your fully executed contract.
If you attempt to do it on your own, getting a lawyer to comment on your Attorney Engagement Letter can be fairly time-consuming. Sometimes a lawyer will not even agree to review a contract if they were not the author. If an attorney does decide to offer assistance, they most likely would still charge a fee for doing it. An easier and more cost-effective way to double-check your document would be to go through the On Call network of attorneys. When you sign up for a Premium membership, you can have your contracts evaluated by an experienced business attorney. Whether you decide to produce additional copies of your Attorney Engagement Letter or other documents, we'll be here for you.
Last reviewed or updated 08/26/2021