Yup your right. My first two lawyers were $3500 retainers at $250 an hour and when I finally started talking to real litigators they all started at $5000+ retainers and $350+ an hour. Even found one guy that had a $15,000 retainer and was $600 an hour standard. He told me his retainer can reach $30K depending on the kind of case it is
But the reality is you will spend that money anyways if you go with the cheaper $3500 retainer lawyers. The amount of money you will spend dealing with their incompetence and having them go back and fix what they have done constantly drives their cost up to $5000+ anyways. Might as well just hire the trial lawyer from the start.