Tom Appeals Blog

News and Observations About Law and Society

"As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule." - Albert Einstein

The Beat (for Alternative Attorney’s Fees) Goes On

Posted: March 7, 2012 Filed under: Commentary, Law-Related News

I have posted before about the trend toward alternative fee structures used by law firms, whether by choice or by necessity. This article in the Journal of the American Bar Association quotes lawyers from some of America’s larger firms and highlights  some of the incentives and terms of alternative fee arrangements those firms have with large, institutional clients.

Although the article focuses on large firms and large clients, its message pertains to ordinary people and small businesses, too. Few people and businesses have money to burn, and it’s probably safe to assume everyone would prefer to spend their money on something enjoyable rather than on a visit to the dentist … or their lawyer. Don’t get me wrong, lawyers provide a valuable service. I’ve seen my fair share of clients who wound up in a pickle because they cheaped out on the front end. Good lawyers deserve to be paid for their intellect and talent. That said, clients who do not explore alternative attorney’s fee arrangements and opt, instead, to pay for inefficiency do themselves a disservice.

Good lawyers can and will find an alternative to the billable hour that provides value and financial predictability to the client and a good living for the lawyer. Just ask … or insist.

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