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Category Archives: Legal Fees

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Client Letter to New Outside Counsel – Part II

Posted in Client Communications, Legal Fees, Marketing Team, Marketing Tips

Last week I wrote about the fictitious client letter sent to the recently retained outside law firm, wherein the general counsel sets forth his expectations.  As noted in that post, the “letter” was brought to us by Bob Denney in one of his Legal Communiqués. ’s Legal Communique, wherein the law firm is admonished/warned about… Continue Reading

Survey: More Business Likely For Regional Firms

Posted in Legal Fees, Marketing Tips

While one recent survey says that “reducing spending (with outside law firms) is a top priority for corporate legal departments”, another says that regional firms may be in position to gain more work over BigLaw. Both surveys were reported by Law360, the newswire for business lawyers. Last week Robert Half Legal’s 10th Future Law Office… Continue Reading

More On The Reality of Alternative Fees

Posted in Legal Fees, Marketing Tips

During Jackson Lewis’ annual corporate counsel conference, as reported in The National Law Journal and on Law.com’s Small Firm Business, alternative fees are “putting down deep roots.” This got my attention, because although there has been much written about the subject including on this blog, it hasn’t seemed that alternative fees were catching on all… Continue Reading

Now Is The Time To Consider Alternative Fees

Posted in Legal Fees, Marketing Tips

Evan Chesler, presiding partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore shocked a lot of people within the legal community with his recent opinion piece on Forbes.com advocating the death of the billable hour. Basically, he states that the billable hour “makes no sense.” Making more money by dragging out a matter (or in his analogy, making… Continue Reading

Fee Consternation from Corporate Counsel

Posted in Legal Fees, Marketing Tips

At the Legal Marketing Association annual meeting last month in LA, the chairperson and the general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, along with two other members on their panel, let law firm marketers know how they felt about the increasing rates and associated legal costs of outside counsel. According to a post by… Continue Reading

Is the Billable Hour Now Dead?

Posted in Legal Fees

The billable hour has been criticized by many people in the legal industry, including me. But, from a business development standpoint, I’m not against the billable hour per se as much as I’m in favor of using alternative fees (fixed, blended rates, etc) to increase a law firm’s marketing advantage. That’s not entirely true; I… Continue Reading

Is Billable Hour Here to Stay?

Posted in Legal Fees

The results of a survey by Bruce MacEwen at Adam Smith, Esq. leads him to conclude that based on responses by 63% of respondents (there were only 87) “the billable hour will remain intact for all practical purposes.” The responses to the question “Will the billable hour ever lose its dominance?” are: *Yes, but only… Continue Reading

Don’t Compete On Price – It’s a Loser

Posted in Legal Fees

Over the years, ABA surveys have indicate that legal fees only get ranked between number 5 to 7 on the lists of top concerns by clients. This fact often escapes lawyers because clients DO COMPLAIN about the cost of legal services. However, when one looks deeper, often what one uncovers is that clients are really… Continue Reading

Have You Considered Alternatives To Hourly Billing Yet?

Posted in Legal Fees

In earlier posts I have talked about hourly billing and how it is bad for clients and lawyers, and how small firms can take advantage of alternative fee arrangements (here and here). Ran across an interesting slant on the billable hour issue on The Greatest American Lawyer blog. The premise is that the hourly billing… Continue Reading

Alternative Billing for Small Firms

Posted in Legal Fees

Thanks to The Greatest American Lawyer for pointing out Lawyers Weekly USA’s article by Sylvia Hsieh on alternatives to hourly billing by small firms. In an earlier post I pointed out how I believe small firms can get an advantage on larger firms by proposing alternative fee arrangements. Sylvia points out that “[S]mall firms have… Continue Reading

Clients Abhor Surprises

Posted in Legal Fees

In all my years in the legal marketing business, one of the most important lessons learned is that clients do not like surprises. Do any of us? Many years ago as an in-house marketing director, I produced a video in which clients stated their expectations of their outside law firms. I shared this with the… Continue Reading

Alternative Fees vs. Billable Hour

Posted in Legal Fees

Small firms can gain an advantage by looking seriously at alternatives to billing by the hour. Although large firms bill mainly based on hourly rates, they do use alternative billing such as fixed fees, discounted fees, premium based on results, etc. But they do not do much of it. Consultant Jim Calloway co-authored an article… Continue Reading