Updated June 30, 2021

How much does it cost for an attorney to review a contract?

Typically, contract review attorneys use either flat-fee pricing or hourly rate pricing. However, because each lawyer sets his or her own prices, the fees can vary greatly depending on who you choose. If you need legal help from a lawyer to review a contract, post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace for free. You will save up to 60% compared to law firms and receive custom proposals within hours. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers coming from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience. 

Flat-fee pricing for contract review: things to consider

Flat-free pricing for a lawyer to review a contract is becoming more and more common in the modern age. It's great for the customer, as you'll just pay a single set fee for contract review, regardless of how long your lawyer works on the project. This pricing system provides a much better idea on how much contract attorneys will charge for their legal advice upfront.

However, that doesn't mean flat-fee pricing is always a set rate. Your prospect contract review lawyer will determine the flat fee after they take a quick look at the scope of the legal document provided and see how much work it will take. If you do find a lawyer that offers a set rate without looking at your contract or charges a set rate by the page, this could be a red flag. In many cases, a one-page contract can have more complexities than a 100-page contract. A reputable contract attorney should recognize this right away, which is why the best lawyers ask to see the contract and any other legal documents before setting their price.

Hourly pricing for a lawyer to review your contract

Hourly pricing is a more traditional approach in which the contract review lawyer will ask you for a retainer at the beginning of the assignment. Then, they will subtract their hourly fees from this retainer until the work is over or the retainer needs to be replenished. Overall, hourly rates for an attorney to review your contract may vary greatly, but expect a range from $100 per hour to $750 per hour. For more generic information, see our page about how much does a lawyer cost.

What does a contract attorney do?

Hiring an attorney to review a contract can be expensive, however, it's an extremely valuable process. This is because an attorney brings along years of experience and training to guide you. The contract attorney's knowledge can contribute to you getting the best deal possible in the contract you're creating. When a lawyer reviews a contract, they are assisting you with legal documents. This is different from a law firm. An attorney review will examine any loopholes and decide whether the contract is fair. Deeply analyzing the contract is significant because you want to make sure you are being protected as well.
The use of legal documents will be necessary for a business contract, or any setting that requires being legally binding. A business contract will include information about the goods and services, payment method, and the type of exchange each party is responsible for. When it comes to contracts, the cost of legal services from lawyers with experience is more often than not, worth the peace of mind as well as help change the playing field by increasing leverage on your account. Overall, hiring a contract lawyer to look over your contract before signing can be one of the most crucial steps in the entire contracting process. However, it is not a requirement, meaning you'll have to make the decision on your own whether or not to hire an attorney before signing on the dotted line.

What kind of contracts should be reviewed by an attorney?

Business, real estate, and estate contracts are a few of the most common types of contracts that attorneys review. Employment contracts are also often reviewed as clients often obtain more from their attorneys negotiating terms than the fee charged for the services.


The different types of contract review

When you hire an attorney to review your contract, it can mean several different things. By understanding what a lawyer does when reviewing your contract, you can better protect your financial interests. Check our page for more tips about how to review a contract.

Issue-specific contract review

An issue-specific contract review is the cheapest form of contract review, as the lawyer will just look over a specific issue you have questions on. If you're on a tight budget, this is a good way to feel more confident before signing the agreement.

Some of the specific questions or provisions you might want to have a lawyer look at include:

  • Will I own the rights to what's being created?
  • Does my intellectual property suffer from this contract?
  • Does this non-compete covenant affect me at all?
  • Will I still be able to work with other clients if I sign this contract?
  • What does this non-solicitation clause mean in the scope of the agreement?

Basic contract review

One step up from an issue-specific contract review is a basic contract review. In this type of review, the attorney will look over the agreement on the surface level, answer any burning questions you have about the agreement, and note any areas in the contract that could use some attention.

Most basic contract reviews take place over the phone or through email, so they lack the personal touch you may want.

Basic contract review plus edits

If you're seeking something a little more comprehensive, you might appreciate a basic contract review plus edits. Not only will the lawyer review the contract and make notes about problem areas, but they'll also edit the contract to correct the issues. This is known as redlining a contract and can greatly speed up the entire process.

Contract review plus negotiation

If you're not confident handling your contract at all, this is the level of contract review you'll need to choose. Basically, your lawyer will handle everything for you, including reviewing, editing, redlining, and negotiating the contract.

In serious contracts, negotiating can be difficult, as emotions can get heated between you and the other party. You might just keep going back and forth with neither side giving way. A lawyer can come into this situation as an uninvolved third party so you can finally make some progress with negotiations.

Find a contract review attorney on UpCounsel

If you need help with a contract review attorney fee, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. Law firms typically charge 60% in overhead costs. We've replaced those fees with technology and focused on what really matters: matching you with a great lawyer to review your contract. Keep in mind that UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.