Competent employment counsel charge between $300 and $600 per hour in New York. The review of a non-commpete and a verbal discussion with an attorney should take 1 to 2 hours. If you wanted a written opinion regarding the non-compete, that may take another 2 to 3 hours.
In the past, when I've been called upon to review non-compete clauses here in NY, I have usually charged for two to three hours of time and have provided the client with a written memorandum that identifies and discusses the pertinent issues. I do not know how much other attorneys charge for this.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.
In trying to obtain a sense of how much this non-compete issue may cost you, you should consider speaking to a few attorneys. There are various ways of trying to find an attorney who is suitable for you, including -- but are not limited to:
(a) calling the local bar association for names and contact information of experienced attorneys in good standing with the bar association who provide these services
[NOTE: being that you mention that this is in New York City, there are so many local bar associations you can call who can give you the contact information of lawyers in this area. If you are in Manhattan, it's possible you may get some help from the City Bar on West 44th Street, the New York County Lawyer's Association (NYCLA) on Vesey Street, or the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). There are also many other bar associations in New York City and State -- ranging from the New York State Women's Bar Association (WBASNY) and their local chapters to the bar associations of each county, i.e., Richmond County Bar Association (RCBA) in Staten Island, New York (note: I'm in Staten Island, New York so I must mention the RCBA) and other groups of attorneys not mentioned above. Check them out. They are a great resource.];
(b) looking at the local printed advertisements;
(c) searching the internet; and/or
(d) utilizing the word of mouth and asking people you know and trust if they know a good attorney who they know and can recommend from their own personal experience on this kind of matter.
Doing the above can help you decide which attorney is good for you -- not only with respect to the amount of legal fees to be charged -- but also concerning the quality of the attorney's experience and reputation.
After you obtain the names of at least a few attorneys who are experienced in this area, speak to them and hopefully this will help get you to the right lawyer.
Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq., CPA, Tax LL.M.
Legal disclaimer by Suzanne Alexandra Ascher, Esq: My answer is strictly for information and education purposes only and therefore my answer does not form any attorney-client relationship and attorney-client privilege between me and you. These questions and answers on AVVO.COM are no substitute for actual qualified legal advice by an actual licensed attorney in good standing with the bar who can become fully informed of your entire situation above and beyond the limited description of your situation in your question. Further, nothing posted in this public forum of AVVO.COM is deemed confidential or privileged communication. Finally, in accordance with IRS Circular 230 disclosure, federal (United States) tax advice provided in this communication is neither intended nor written to be used, and cannot be used, by to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or to promote, market, or recommend to anyone a transaction or matter addressed in this communication.