Michelle Golden has an excellent post on value pricing.  As she notes, it isn’t necessarily easy for a law firm to implement.  It makes you think in advance what it is the client is seeking and what it will take to produce it, rather than just jumping into the work without giving thought to what the client will have to pay in the end.

The only thing I would add is that as a legal service provider, you should know the cost of providing a particular service.  You shouldn’t guess.  To be able to price your services, so that the client knows up front what it will cost them (or darn close) and you can make a reasonable profit, you need to know what it will cost you to handle a given matter.

Preferably, you have done similar matters before and by checking your records you can ascertain what it cost you in terms of time and resources.  If you haven’t done that type of work before, consider referring it out and focus your legal marketing efforts on those areas in which you do have experience. If you MUST take on the assignment, ask a colleague or mentor what it should take to produce the legal product.

Michelle also refers to a post by David Maister containing 11 questions you should ask your client up front to ensure no surprises in terms of costs or other client expectations.  It is well worth reading as a stand alone, whether you are ready for value pricing or not.