Redefining the Attorney-Client Relationship
Technology is changing at an eye-popping pace. One game-changing product appears and takes precedence until another one pops up out of nowhere and changes the rules yet again.
It doesn’t take a big company to introduce a revolutionary product in this lightning marketplace. Those are most often created by small, forward thinking companies run by visionary entrepreneurs dedicating to providing their customers with a uniquely superior value proposition. Just the sort of people we cater to.
Plenty of companies have introduced revolutionary, game-changing products. Google, Apple, and Facebook immediately come to mind, but even revolutionary companies need experienced legal counsel to enable them to better leverage their products and outpace their competitors. Google, Apple, and Facebook may have introduced game-changing products, but more importantly, they had the experienced legal support necessary to help them not only change the game, but win it.
The Business Law Center was formed to address a critical need: to deliver strategic guidance and practical, business-oriented legal solutions to small businesses and entrepreneurs in an efficient, cost-effective manner. It sounds simple, but the traditional law firm model is simply not structured to deliver this level of service. There are two basic reasons why this is true: (1) hourly billing; and (2) unnecessary overhead.
The Hourly Billing Problem
Other professionals, such as doctors and accountants, set a price for services that they regularly perform. The consumer pays that price and gets the completed tax return or the tonsillectomy that they paid for.
Unlike most other professionals, most lawyers charge by the hour, which often makes little or no sense. The reason you want to hire a lawyer is to obtain a particular result. Instead of paying a set amount for that result, you’re paying for the lawyer’s time. How much will it cost to achieve the result? It’s entirely up to the lawyer. You don’t even have a say! If a lawyer says that she spent two hours handling something but really spent only one, it is almost impossible to catch the discrepancy. Other lawyers may not overbill, but engage in unnecessary work, known as churning the bill.
In short, hourly billing encourages inefficiencies and bill padding, and is impossible to budget for.
The Overhead Issue
Many lawyers who charge by the hour feel the need to impress their clients with expensive offices, lavish furniture, and a large staff. In order to cover their expenses, they are forced to charge extremely high hourly fees- the more senior the attorney, the higher the fee. In some major cities, these fees often exceed $600 per hour, which most small businesses can’t afford to pay.
To try and accommodate their small business clients, traditional firms assign their cases to young, inexperienced associates, many of whom are fresh out of law school. Although they bill at a lesser rate, due to their lack of experience, it often takes new lawyers a lot longer to complete a task than it does a senior attorney, so any cost savings are minimal, and to make matters worse, their inexperience often leads to a poor result.
Small businesses simply deserve better, so we’ve developed a simple solution. Avoid overhead and structure creative fee arrangements in order to provide clients with the close personal attention they deserve, and deliver fast, focused service at a reasonable price.