1. “You’re always on the clock.”
Most lawyers bill you for every minute they spend talking or even thinking about your
case. If you happen to run into your lawyer at the grocery store and ask about your case,
that conversation could be billable. Therefore, every communication you have with an
attorney should begin with the question: “Are you billing me for this?” Thankfully, here at
the Lawrence Law Firm we offer free consultations and our emphasis is honesty when it
comes to handling our clients. We also rarely do billable hour cases. The Lawrence Law
Firm wants to ensure that all our clients feel like they are being treated like family.
2. I charge as much as you'll let me
Most lawyers can charge for their services in a variety of ways: a flat fee, an hourly rate of
typically $100 to $300 an hour, or a contingency or percentage of the award, usually billed
at 30% or 40%.
Which do we use? It depends on the case. For criminal matter, we offer flat fee
agreements. Flat fee agreements give lawyers an incentive to solve the problem efficiently.
When you're filing suit for, say, personal injury, employment discrimination or
malpractice, you're generally better off paying a percentage. This is the typical, you don’t
pay us unless we recover for you type of agreement. At the Lawrence Law Firm, we won’t
try to hide anything, and our emphasis is to get you the most out of your money, so that you
can be a satisfied client.
3. Sharks Usually Don’t Win Cases
If TV legal dramas have taught us anything, it’s that litigation is won by lawyers who shout
down their opponents and eventually make witnesses break down into puddles of tears.
Much of the grandstanding and posturing is usually only an act to lure the client in. Judges
and other attorneys are not taking them very seriously. In fact, the most aggressive lawyers
will end up costing you the most money. The key factor here is simple: Do not go looking
for the nastiest shark.
4. I’m training junior attorneys on your dime.
Oftentimes the lawyer you hired is not the one you will work with. While the seasoned
attorneys are used to lure in clients, your matter might be delegated to younger attorneys.
There is nothing wrong with this, but a junior lawyer that is handling your matter may
spend 10 hours doing something that a more experienced attorney could do in 1 hour. At
the Lawrence Law Firm, if you hire Mr. Lawrence to work on your case it will be Mr.
Lawrence who works on your case.
5. You don’t always need a lawyer
Attorneys who do not have a full understanding or appreciation of their role in society and/or just want your money at any cost--including their ability to look themselves in the mirror and even possibly keep their license to practice law--may tell you that you must ALWAYS have a lawyer accompany you every step of the way in all legal matters and proceedings. This may or may not be the case, depending on what kind of issue or case it is. Factors to determine include, how complicated the case is, how much experience you personally have with that area of law or with the law in general, whether courts let you represent yourself in that type of case, etc.