DO HIGHER FEES EQUATE WITH BETTER SERVICE?
I am generally a person who believes that you get what you pay for. At the same time, I am okay with paying less when I know I am getting the exact same item - just for less money. Does that necessarily mean I am getting an inferior product? Of course it doesn’t!
Many lawyers today are opening solo firms and working from home with a virtual office and conference room availability or some kind of space sharing arrangement with another attorney. I know for a fact these are very competent and financially successful lawyers who know how to keep their overhead low. They have successful law businesses. Some of them hire contract associates, virtual paralegals and independent law firm administrators like me. They have learned (some from me) how to maximize their potential without paying huge office rents, benefits, salaries and all the expenses that come with a brick and mortar law firm.
Clients care about results. Clients care that their case is being handled and that someone is available to answer their questions. And today more than ever clients, even large corporations, are scrutinizing the value of the legal fees that they are paying. They are looking for value instead of a fancy office.
Where am I going with this you wonder?
I am a solo practitioner in the sense that I, too, keep my overhead low. I have virtual help available when I need it. I am available to my clients all the time and I make sure that they are getting the most benefit out of my help with “managing the business of practicing law®”.
While lawyers did not learn in school how to manage the business of practicing law, many attorneys know what they need - they just need someone to help them as a resource to get the job done. I had the best compliment the other day from a new attorney I am working with who told me she felt “protected” by me and the work that I do for her. I get compliments like this all the time. I take my work and my attorneys very personally.
· Do you need help getting billing procedures in place so that you can collect 90% or more of your fees? I can do that!
· Do you need policies and procedures in place? I can help you with that.
· Do you have legal project management protocols in place so that work is done efficiently with the highest productivity available? I can help you put those systems in place.
· Are your timekeepers paying for themselves by meeting their billing quota? If they aren't, I can help you with that.
· Are you assigning work to the most competent, least expensive employee so that the firm makes the most of its resources and frees up timekeepers to focus on income generating work? I can help you with that.
· Do you need to get the most out of a small marketing budget? I can help you market your firm with whatever size budget you have to work with.
I don’t charge my clients thousands of dollars a month. But, what they do pay for my work brings them a return on their investment that justifies the monthly retainer they pay me. I’ll take care of “managing the business of practicing law®”, and my lawyers can concentrate on practicing law.
One of my attorneys wrote a recommendation for me not that long ago that accurately and succinctly sums up the work I do for my lawyers:
Elizabeth Miller is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to transforming your law "practice" into a law "business." She has literally written the book on it (called From Lawyer to Law Firm)! My firm and I have personally reaped the benefits of working with Liz, and I am aware of more than a hand full of local attorneys who use her independent law firm administrative services to make sure their practice is running as a business.
John DeGirolamo, Esquire
Family Law and Civil Litigation Attorney
Please check out my website at www.fromlawyertolawfirm.com. Call me at 813-340-9569 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.