Some attorneys handle certain cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid if you win. Lawyers also handle some cases on an hourly basis, regardless of whether you win or lose. Lastly, some cases are handled by paying a retainer, which is a lump sum amount paid at the time you hire the attorney, which is then used to pay the attorney’s fees as he does the work on your case. Retainers are usually non-refundable.