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Keeping a Lawyer Retainer

lawyer Retainer

Having a lawyer retainer basically means having a lawyer on call to perform regular legal activities. The client pays the lawyer a small amount of money on a regular basis, and in return, the lawyer performs legal services for the client. So this requires proper dealing and agreement. 

The agreement requires proper paperwork, where all the necessary information is mentioned. Such information could be obligations, involvement, services, ethical issues, fees, and ground rules. Before keeping a lawyer retainer, a person should judge and decide for how long he/she should keep a lawyer retainer.

Is Keeping a Lawyer Retainer Necessary?

Before deciding on retaining a lawyer, one must determine if he/she is eligible to hire a lawyer. This means that the person must judge his situation, present, and future, and decide whether it is really required for him to keep a lawyer or not.


Generally, not everyone needs a lawyer retainer. It is costly, and one might not have many legal activities to go through in their lifetime. In most cases, people who retain a lawyer need to go through a lot of legal works throughout their life. That is why it is beneficial for them to hire a lawyer who knows all the history, and the person should keep a lawyer as long as he/she can afford it.

Also, lawyer retainers are useful for businesses that do not have enough money to carry the expenses of everyday lawyers. So, they keep the lawyer as a retainer for times of need.

All these sounds very tempting, but one must think first about his/her legal situation and then decide on a lawyer retainer and how long to keep a lawyer. There are some points that a person must think about before settling for a lawyer retainer-

  • Use of the lawyer retainer– a person must ask himself what use the retainer has in his/her life. You might need a lawyer occasionally, maybe once a year. So having a lawyer retainer in that scenario is not beneficial, especially financially.
  • Your insurance policy– many insurance policies cover the cost of a lawyer in terms of family, accidents or significant destruction of personal property. In that case, having a lawyer retainer and paying the lawyer from your pocket is foolish.
  • Employee benefits– employees of large companies, in most cases, have a lawyer on their own as employee benefits. In this case, no one needs an extra lawyer retainer, as that is financially stressful. Also, having a lawyer retainer for a small company employee could be beneficial as the lawyer can handle regular legal matters and lawsuits.

Benefits of Having a Retainer

As having an on-call legal advisor all the time at your disposal seems like a luxury, there can be many benefits of having one. These benefits can help someone decide on how long a retainer is suitable for or how does a retainer work? as there is never any definitive answer.

Legal Advice at Your Fingertip

Obviously, the first benefit is that the lawyer is always on your phone and just one dial away. The lawyer is always at your service, and you don’t ever have to explain everything in detail because the lawyer knows almost everything about you and your legal problems.

Defending Your Legal Rights

As today’s world is filled with violations, having a retain lawyer means that you know your rights and can always fight for justice within your capabilities. Also, if you have somewhere in your life been involved in criminal matters, you might be in trouble anywhere just because that’s how it is for people like you. Having a lawyer retainer means you can fight the unjust arrest or conviction against you.

No Extra Headache

Retainers take the burden of legal activities out of the head of entrepreneurs. Having a business or company of your own could be stressful. And legal issues are a must in that scenario. Lawyer retainers can shift all those legal issues out of your head and can assist you with their full service in legal matters. In this case, you should look to keep a retainer as long as possible. 

Having a lawyer in every different situation could prove time-consuming and costly for the business person.

A Long-term Relationship

Finally, having a lawyer retainer at your fingertips means that there is always a legal companion at your disposal. The retainer knows all your history and secrets, and so you build up a long-term commitment with each other with complete trust and respect. It is both mentally and financially relaxing as you know someone who is legally specialized always has your back in stressful situations.

The Retainer Agreement

Before confirmation on a lawyer retainer, the agreement is vital. There should be an in-detailed contract paper that has all the detailed information about the retain agreement.  The lawyer retainer agreement includes some essentials parts, just like a contract paper, with detailed information.

Services to be Performed

The deal includes the main points about the role of the lawyer in the client’s legal activities. The paper will also include what the lawyer retainer will not be doing.

The Fee of the Lawyer Retainer

The agreement paper in detail tells the amount the lawyer valet will be paid, how the lawyer retainer will be paid, and what type of fee the lawyer retainer will charge for what period.

Other Expenses from the Client

The client will pay for other expenses such as filing expenses, travel expenses, and so on. The agreement paper should include all these details elaborately.

Deciding on Lawyer Retainer through Their Fee

There are two types of fees a lawyer attendant charges, depending on the type of service you need. You can determine whether you actually need a lawyer valet or not and for how long you should keep the valet by judging the fees.

Frequent Use Model

If you frequently need to tackle legal issues, then the retainer must be paid regularly, almost like a monthly salary. Judging by the type of fee the lawyer charges, you can decide whether you will keep the lawyer or not as you need someone reasonable daily.

Retainer Fee Model

If you seldom need a lawyer for your legal issues, then it is best advised to know what is a retainer fee? and it actually that, which you pay a certain amount of money in the retainer’s account and keep him in your phonebook so that you can reach him judging by your necessity.


There is no clear-cut answer for how long a lawyer should be retained. But, before keeping a lawyer retainer, a person must be sure and decisive about it and judge by asking himself about the need and whether & for how long he can keep him.