Determine When Legal Lending is Right for You.
When taking on a case, lawyers should carefully analyze expected timeline and the associated costs for reaching a resolution. This can create significant “durational risk” and debilitating financial pitfalls. The challenge is that it can be impossible to determine exactly how much time or money might be spent until the case is settled; forces outside the lawyers’ control can significantly affect how long the case runs. That’s why it’s vital to analyze the risks of an extended duration in the case, and be sure to tap into commercial legal funding services to cover litigation costs and to empower you and you client to go the extra mile if necessary to get the optimal result. The questions below can help guide your approach.
Are you currently prioritizing the growth of your firm or your caseload?
If you’re at the helm of your own law firm, pursuing more business can be costly. Expanding your portfolio of new cases almost always requires marketing yourself and investing in the resources needed to build your reputation and reach in the market. The same can be said for individual attorneys aiming to expand their caseloads. Setting aside the time and energy to speak with new clients necessitates capital. Commercial legal funding can certainly help in providing this operating capital as you set your eyes on a broader horizon.
Have you determined the cost of taking on this month’s caseload?
Don’t plunge into your cases without first estimating what you’ll spend on each. Being caught off guard by litigation expenses could mean dipping into funds you hadn’t expected to use – like money you need for your own personal life. At the start of the month, create a detailed approximation of your expenses. If you see only a slim margin for error, obtaining commercial legal funding could help you pad any surprises.
Will any of your cases require you to undergo extensive pretrial processes or discovery periods?
Few cases are black-and-white. Complications within a proposed case often necessitate outside research, consultation and expertise. The extent and duration of such pretrial work can be hard to gauge, making it equally difficult to determine how much these efforts will cost. Access to commercial legal funding can support discovery periods and bring both you and your client peace of mind as you gather evidence and litigation materials.
Do you anticipate bringing in outside experts for one or more cases? Do you know how much will be spent on medical experts or other third parties and do you have the funds to bring such individuals in?
The input of outside specialists like medical experts is often required for personal injury cases, or any lawsuit in which the issue is outside the knowledge of the general public. The Cochran Firm estimates that most medical experts charge up to $500 per hour to assist with a case, with some costing up to $4,000 per day for travel and testimony time. It can be difficult to estimate how long you’ll need an expert for a case, so even if you believe you’ve budgeted correctly, it’s a good idea to anticipate additional expenses and hours. Legal funding can be a dependable option when you are worried you won’t have enough cash to cover the cost. And if you’re handling a complex but potentially very lucrative case that requires the testimony of multiple experts, legal funding may be just what you need to lock down that major win.
Will overhead costs eat into the funds you have set aside for litigation processes? How much overhead would you like to offset?
Once you’ve totaled approximate costs for each case, it’s important to factor in your overhead. Consider how much you are paying for technology, office space, research, travel, onboarding new talent and any other retainer expenses. Not only can legal funding help you cover all of these at once, but funders can help you eliminate unwanted overhead as you plan to cut costs moving forward.
On a personal level, how much can you afford to spend on litigation needs?
Will you be balancing your checkbook against student loans or any other debt? If needed, could you afford to use your personal savings on your case or your firm’s caseload? Keeping student loans and any other debt top-of-mind is key to keeping your legal career afloat – and paying off such debt should be a top priority. Thus, legal funding can be a helpful solution that allows you to give your cases the thoroughness they require without dipping into personal funds.
Cartiga can help you navigate your way to legal success! Visit us at cartiga.com.