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Attorney Engagement Letter

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Attorney Engagement Letter

Updated July 19, 2023

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An attorney engagement letter allows a client to hire an attorney to perform legal services on their behalf. The attorney and client will outline the scope of work and the pay ($/hour). In most cases, an attorney will request a retainer be paid that acts as an advance payment on future services. Afterward, the attorney will bill and invoice the client, as necessary, until the services are complete.

How Much Does an Attorney Make?

  • Average Salary: $127,990/yr (source: BLS)
  • Hourly Rate: $61.54/hr (source: BLS)






This Engagement Letter for Legal Services (“Letter”), made effective as of [DATE], between the law firm of [FIRM’S NAME] with [ATTORNEY’S NAME] as the appointed attorney (“Attorney”) and agrees to represent [CLIENT’S NAME] (“Client”) in regard to legal representation.

SERVICES. Attorney agrees to provide the following Services: [DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES] (“Services”).

TERM. The Services shall commence on [DATE], and end: (check one)

– On the date of [DATE].

– At completion of the Services performed.

– Upon either party may terminate this Agreement with [#] days’ notice.

– Other. [DESCRIBE].

COMPENSATION. In consideration for the Services provided, the Attorney is to be paid in the following manner: (check all that apply)

– Per Hour. $[AMOUNT] /hour.

– Per Job. $[AMOUNT] for the completion of the Services.

– Commission. [#]% commission based on [DESCRIBE].

– Other. [DESCRIBE].

PAYMENT METHOD. Attorney shall be paid, in accordance with section IV, in the following manner: (check one)

– On a weekly monthly quarterly basis beginning on [DATE].

– At completion of the Services performed.

– Upon the Client receiving an Invoice from the Attorney.

– Other. [DESCRIBE].

RETAINER. The Client is: (check one)

– Required to pay a Retainer. The Client is required to pay a Retainer in the amount of $[AMOUNT] to the Attorney as an advance on future Services to be provided (“Retainer”). The Retainer is: (check one)

– Refundable.

– Non-Refundable.

– Not required to pay a Retainer. The Client is not required to pay a Retainer before the Attorney is able to provide Services.

CONTINGENCY. As part of the Attorney’s Pay: (check one)

– There SHALL be a contingency-fee arrangement in accordance with: (check applicable)

– [#]% of [AMOUNT].

– flat fee of $[AMOUNT] for the following: [DESCRIBE]

– There SHALL NOT be a contingency-fee arrangement as part of this Agreement.

EXPENSES. The Attorney shall be: (check one)

– Responsible for ALL expenses.

– Responsible for ONLY the following expenses: [LIST].
The Client agrees to pay the Attorney within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of any expense directly associated with the Services.

– Responsible for NO expenses. The Client is not required to pay or be responsible for any expense in connection with the Services provided.

DISPUTES. If any dispute arises under this Agreement, the Attorney and the Client shall negotiate in good faith to settle such dispute. If the parties cannot resolve such disputes themselves, then either party may submit the dispute to mediation by a mediator approved by both parties. The jurisdiction for any dispute shall be administered in the County of [COUNTY], State of [STATE].

LEGAL NOTICE. All notices required or permitted under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed delivered when delivered in-person or deposited in the United States Postal Service via Certified Mail with return receipt. If different from the mailing address in Section I, enter below:

Client’s Address: [ADDRESS]

Attorney’s Address: [ADDRESS]

RETURN OF RECORDS. Upon termination of this Agreement, the Attorney shall deliver all records, notes, and data of any nature that are in the Attorney’s possession or under the Attorney’s control and that are of the Client’s property or relate to Client’s business.

WAIVER OF CONTRACTUAL RIGHT. The failure of either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party’s right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Agreement.

STATE AND FEDERAL LICENSES. The Attorney represents and warrants that all employees and personnel associated shall comply with federal, state, and local laws requiring any required licenses, permits, and certificates necessary to perform the Services under this Agreement.

INDEMNIFICATION. Attorney shall release, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Client and its officers, agents, and employees from all suits, actions, or claims of any character, name, or description including reasonable Attorney fees, brought on account of any injuries or damage, or loss (real or alleged) received or sustained by any person, persons, or property, arising out of services provided under this Agreement or Attorney’s failure to perform or comply with any requirements of this Agreement.

CONFIDENTIALITY & PROPRIETARY INFORMATION. The Attorney acknowledges that it will be necessary for the Client to disclose certain confidential and proprietary information to the Attorney in order for the Attorney to perform their duties under this Agreement.

Proprietary or confidential information includes, but is not limited to:

a.) The written, printed, graphic, or electronically recorded materials furnished by Client for Attorney to use;

b.) Any written or tangible information stamped “confidential,” “proprietary,” or with a similar legend, or any information that Client makes reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of, business or marketing plans or strategies, customer lists, operating procedures, sales projections, and pricing information; and

c.) Information belonging to customers and suppliers of the Client about whom the Attorney gained knowledge as a result of the Attorney’s Services to the Client.

Upon termination of the Attorney’s Services to the Client, or at the Client’s request, the Attorney shall deliver all materials to the Client in the Attorney’s possession relating to the Client’s business.

ASSIGNMENT AND DELEGATION. The Attorney may assign rights and may delegate duties under this Agreement to other individuals or entities acting as a subcontractor (“Subcontractor”). The Attorney recognizes that they shall be liable for all work performed by the Subcontractor and shall hold the Client harmless of any liability in connection with their performed work.

The Attorney shall be responsible for any confidential or proprietary information that is shared with the Subcontractor in accordance with this section. If any such information is shared by the Subcontractor to third (3rd) parties, the Attorney shall be made liable.

GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed under the laws in the State of [STATE].

SEVERABILITY. This Agreement shall remain in effect in the event a section or provision is unenforceable or invalid. All remaining sections and provisions shall be deemed legally binding unless a court administers that any such provision or section is invalid or unenforceable, thus, limiting the effect of another provision or section. In such case, the affected provision or section shall be enforced as so limited.


ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This Agreement, along with any attachments or addendums, represents the entire agreement between the parties. Therefore, this Agreement supersedes any prior agreements, promises, conditions, or understandings between the Client and Attorney. This Agreement may be modified or amended if the amendment is made in writing and is signed by both parties.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties hereto have executed this Letter on the dates written hereunder.

Attorney’s Signature _________________________ Date: _______________

Print Name: _________________________

Client’s Signature _________________________ Date: _______________

Print Name: _________________________

Related Agreements

Contingency Fee Agreement – For client-attorney relationships where payment is only due if the lawyer wins a settlement for the client.

Download: PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument



Retainer Agreement (Attorneys/Lawyers) – A separate agreement that details the work to be completed in exchange for an advance payment for services.

Download: PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument