Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

3 Reasons to Lower Your Fees, but You Only Need 1

It's Christmas.

That's one good reason to lower your fees. Even if it's just a one-time discount in a greeting card, your clients will love you for it.

Well, that would be a Christmas miracle, so maybe they would just want to keep you around until next year. In any case, there are at least two other reasons to lower your fees.

Your Fees Are Too High

If more than a few clients have complained about your rates, maybe they are right. Either you are charging too much, or those clients have the wrong lawyer.

It's really about finding the right market and the right rate for that market. If you set up a practice in the rural mid-West, for example, don't expect clients to warm to city slicker attorney's fees.

By the way, it is a good time to go to the mid-West and practice law. In some parts of the country, rural communities are literally paying lawyers to set up a practice.

Your Costs Are Too High

Costs are like the fine-print in purchase agreements; buyers are suspicious about them. As much as you may explain that experts, court reporters, and court fees must be paid separately from attorney's fees, clients don't like to pay them.

You can't really low-ball those costs, but you can cut out the fat elsewhere. This might hurt, but things like opulent offices, season tickets, and lavish parties don't really sit well with clients because they know who is really paying for them.

It's especially obvious at Christmas time when every body is spending more than they should. Stephen R. Williams, in-house counsel with a hospital network, says law firms need to resist that urge to splurge.

"In no way do I begrudge the law firms for hosting the parties, nor do I judge those attorneys who partake in the festivities," he wrote for Above the Law. "Rather, I would simply ask as someone who has signed off on what I sometimes think to be rather exorbitant bill, please be mindful as you partake in the annual holiday party."

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