Despite the multitude of benefits associated with flat fees – from rewarding efficiency rather than time to eliminating the hassle of timing – most attorneys still haven’t embraced it. One concern attorneys have about flat fees is that the agreement will drive up customer calls every minute or attorneys hold their bags against an eager opposing attorney who tends to file requests for anything.
Click here to view flat rate videos – https://www.facebook.com/124918837530631/videos/382244012605222
Yet lawyers are not without protection. One source is your own expertise and your data. Looking back on customer bills, think about how long it took to resolve cases in general and set a price for it. If a contested opposing attorney is an outlier, the additional hours are averaged against the cases that can be resolved quickly.
However, a sow (scope of work) is the most powerful tool that attorneys can use to prevent a client or opposing attorney from taking up your time. In relation to opposing attorneys, you can research and find out their practice in certain cases. If your opposition is known to be aggressive, you can propose a clause stating that the flat fee will only apply to replies to two requests and that all other requests will be billed at the hourly rate. The same procedure applies to customers. If you want to avoid long calls, as part of your agreement, encourage unlimited email, but charge additional phone call charges. If you are concerned about email 24/7, let customers know that the agreement includes unlimited responses to emergency emails (you can define the emergency in your agreement). There is a fee for other emails. A narrow scope of work provides the best protection and empowers clients by helping them understand your practices and preferences.
For more ideas about flat fees, see the video above or my article six years ago, Six Ways To Avoid Paying a Fixed Fee Price.
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