Doing Law Differently.

Too often clients are not sure what is happening with their case or how much legal help is going to cost. My mission is to provide clients with legal services they understand at prices they can afford and agree to before any legal work is done. How do I do this? Several ways:

1. Technology.

We’ve all seen the movies and television shows of law offices that have walls filled with those fancy looking books.  I don’t have them.   Online research tools eliminate the need (and cost) of an extra library room and annual payments for updates and more books. If you’ve every hired an attorney, you may be familiar with those invoices that charge you for copies of every letter and document and the postage for mailing them. I use e-mail to communicate with clients, attorneys, and others, reducing costs for long-distance phone calls, copies, and postage. Traditional law firms store copies of every document, letter, invoice, phone message and record.  I have one file cabinet.  That’s right, one. I store clients’ documents electronically, reducing the need for storage space – an expensive overhead cost at many firms. When I first started practicing law, my calendar system consisted of two paper calendars, every phone call had to be documented by hand-written notes, I had to have a client’s paper file in front of me to find their phone number or answer their questions.  At my office, state-of-the-art software systems incorporate all client information, documents, phone calls, e-mails, notes, bills, payments, and more so that my office is efficient and organized. You will seldom, if ever, hear me say, “I need to go pull the file to answer your question.”  If you call me, your “file” is always in front of me. If you’ve ever worked with a lawyer before, you may have felt overwhelmed and under-educated, not really understanding what was happening or why nothing seemed to be happening.  Following a lawyer’s moves can be tricky. Technology makes it possible for me to educate clients about their options and next steps using blogs, videos, and access to web-based materials.  Contact me to learn how technology and my systems can help handle your legal matter more efficiently.

2. Alternatives to Traditional Representation.

Limited scope representation (also known as “unbundled legal service”) gives you a lawyer to help review or draft a document without having to pay for the lawyer to represent you long-term. Limited scope services can be used in nearly all matters – real estate law, small claims lawsuits, divorce, probate, and more. Alternatively, ongoing representation at a flat rate (discussed more below) can give you constant access to an attorney without the fear of uncertain costs. Businesses or municipalities cannot predict when legal problems will come, but know they need legal advice available on short notice. I can design a representation plan that has me on “standby” giving you peace of mind without the fear of how expensive my services will be. The options for limiting or expanding the lawyer’s role are endless and can be tailored to your needs. Contact me to learn about options for limited scope or comprehensive representation.

3. Alternatives to the Billable Hour.

Few things irritate clients more than a lawyer who sends a bill for thousands of dollars when the client didn’t expect it be so much. Before ever charging you a dime, I will meet with you, understand your problem, explain your options and the possible costs of the various options. I negotiate fees and payment plans rather than imposing them on clients. For many matters, I agree to a fixed price in writing before the legal work starts.  In fact, nearly all the work I do for clients is on a fixed-fee basis and my clients agree to those fees because I can explain the value of my work. My clients seldom pay for the additional costs of copies, postage, and long distance phone calls.  I consider those items to simply be part of doing my job. Contact me to learn more about alternative billing structures that can work for you.