Why I am Different Than Most Lawyers
Why I am Different Than Most Lawyers
Most law firms bill clients on a per hour basis in six minute increments. As a client, this means that you are often times overcharged by your lawyer for quick phone calls, emails and other routine matters. Attorneys at large law firms are often expected to bill 2,000 hours or more a year. These attorneys are compensated based on how many hours they bill in a given year. To put it simply, the more hours these attorneys bill their clients in a given year, the more they are compensated. On top of that, the traditional law firm model trains junior attorneys by having them sit in on meetings and conference calls with more senior attorneys, as well as review and draft agreements which are then reviewed by more senior attorneys. A part of this model is that the traditional law firm bills its corporate client for this training of junior attorneys, by billing for the time spent by the junior attorney as well as the more senior attorney. As a client of a traditional law firm, you are essentially getting double billed (and sometimes triple billed). Nowhere in this model is the client’s interest factored into this equation. Attorneys at large law firms are rarely, if ever, rewarded by their law firms for just doing a good job on behalf of their clients.
I do not believe in billing my client by the hour. I’ve worked in law firms where I billed my time in six minute increments. As an in-house attorney, I’ve also been the client and know what it is like to be “on the clock.” Needless to say, I do not like hourly billing, either as a provider of legal services or as a consumer. My only focus is to do the best job I possibly can for you.
The Inside-Out Approach
Another way my practice is different is because I like to take what I refer to as the “inside out” approach I take with my small business clients. Explaining to you how this is different requires an explanation of what the “traditional – outside-in” approach with a lawyer is like. If you’ve worked with a lawyer before to help with your small business legal needs, this will sound familiar.
During the traditional experience, you more than likely contacted your lawyer with some sort of legal question or problem you needed help with. Your lawyer then likely gave you the advice you needed or drafted a contract for you, without ever really getting to know you or your business. Most lawyers take this “one-size fits all” approach with their clients because they are trying to work with as many clients as possible in a short period of time. Not only does this result in a very impersonal experience for the client; but worse than that, this type of lawyering can lead to unintended results in the long run for your business. When lawyers do not take the time to listen and consider a business owner’s unique circumstances, the result is that your business documents do not end up reflecting what your business really needs. On top of that, when this type of approach is taken, there is usually no review or updating of your legal documents, so they quickly can become outdated as your business grows and changes and may not work when your business needs it the most.
The approach I take with all of my small business clients is similar to the approach an in-house lawyer or General Counsel would take – hence the term “inside-out” approach. With all of my small business clients, I go out of my way to develop an intimate knowledge of your business, its products and services, its competitors, its market niche, its customers, its employee base, and its business plans. I’ve provided legal services to small business clients while working at a traditional law firm, and I have also represented businesses as an in-house attorney. I have seen first hand the difference, and know that the “inside-out” approach is much more effective. Most importantly to you, you are not going to get billed for this, as it is my belief that getting to truly know your clients and their business is just part of what I believe “being a lawyer” entails.
I pride myself on the following:
- Client satisfaction is our number one concern. Always.
- I never charge a fee for an initial consultation.
- I do not believe in hourly billing. I would never hire a contractor to remodel my kitchen on an hourly basis. We believe the same mindset should be applied to the legal services industry. Fixed Fees for specific engagements will be given upfront, so you will know exactly how much your legal representation will cost.
- I promptly return all telephone calls and email messages.
- I do my best to meet your deadlines and regularly keep you apprised of our progress on your matter.
- I do not believe that it serves the client’s best interest to be forced to “watch the clock.” Because I do not bill clients by the hour, you will never have to worry about how long you are on the phone with your attorney, or how long a particular matter takes.
- I do not bill our clients for everyday expenses that are the costs of doing business, such as local or long distance phone charges, postage, faxes, copies, local transportation, and the like. Where expenditures outside of the ordinary are necessary or prudent, I work with our clients to identify the most cost-effective approach; and will never bill these type of expenses above our actual costs.
- I understand you are busy. Therefore, I am more than happy to meet with you at your location, and during the evening and on weekends.
Get In Touch
If you are interested in working with us or learning more about us, give us a call at 215-914-6880 or send us an email.