It depends on the issue in the appeal and how much work is involved in writing the appellate brief. That is not an unusual fee in my area of the country. I frequently charge a flat fee for appeals rather than an hourly fee. The price has nothing to do with whether the attorney thinks they can win or not.
I am in law school. Your 3.9 is good but is nothing without a good LSAT. I graduated with a GPA around that and did poorly on the LSAT and my law school options were very limited. GPA is only half of the equation, and at some schools they weigh the LSAT heavier.
The coursework is like nothing you have seen before. The reading is brutal (300-400 pages a week), it is hard reading, it takes about an hour to read 10 pages at first. You read cases (opinions that judges have written) and statutes. For the cases you must know the facts, the holding, the legal rule and the reasonign for the rule and holding. Casebooks are not like textbooks, they do not simply say here is the law. You have to read the cases and figure out what the judges are saying and more importantly why they are ruling as they are.
You are graded on one final exam at the end of the semester. It is not like exams you have ever taken. There will be essay portions where it is a 4 page fact pattern and you are expected to find all of the legal issues (anywhere from 8-20) and analyze them all. Issue spotting is the most difficult part. The multiple choicce is also very different from what you have seen, as they will lay out tons of facts and then have choices from A-E. Questions on law school exams are not like, "what is the definition of X" they are much more difficult.
Class is taught using the Socratic Method which entails the professor calling on random students (not voluntary participation) and drilling them on a case that was assigned. If you are not prepared (ie, you did not do the reading or read it thourghly enough) the prof will give you a pass. This counts as an absence. The ABA (american bar association) mandates that a student be present at 85% of regularly scheduled classes to even take the exam. This means, roughly speaking, you get about four absences a semester anything over that and you are automatically withdrawn from the class.
Success in undergrad does not always equal success in law school. Law school is graded on a strict curve (at my school it is 25% A, 30% B, and 40% C). This means that the majority of students will get C's. Furthermore, in undergrad you have a lot of slackers in your class, that changes in law school. Everyone there has had acedemic success and most students are used to getting straight A's, which is close to impossible in law school (you must really work hard).
As for job market, you will get mixed answers. If you go to a good school or graduate near the top of your class you have excellent chances of landing a good job.
Good luck, I would reccomend a prep course for the LSAT, maybe Kaplan.