Don’t set your fees and terms of payment without finding out what the market charges and requires. The vast majority of law firms, court administrators, Court Reporting firms are familiar with the standard range of fees and terms. Some courts have set fees, otherwise you tell them your rates and terms. They also know the value of experience in legal settings, certifications and training because that means you are reliable and self-sufficient. T&I agencies for the most part, set limits on what they will pay you. The good ones follow what is considered fair rates.
If you ignore the market fees and terms, you run the risk of charging too much and making unreasonable demands for your work. Or if you charge too little and are too flexible in your terms you open yourself to the disrespect of not being paid on time or worse, not at all. Learn the standard behavior and terms of your market. Your market is defined by your geographic location, your language pair and those who share the same credentials, experience, training and reputation that you have. As in any profession, if you are just starting out you can’t expect to charge the same as someone who has a long list of tests passed, training and ten, twenty or thirty years of experience. But you can prove yourself as reliable, competent and fair. We all started at a lower rate, paid our dues and rose in rank. That is the path of a freelancer.