Reasonable Fees a Must in Tight Legal Services Market
A recent study cited in The Economist noted that so called “Big Law” [America’s 250 largest private law firms] shed 8% of its work force over the past two years. Many top-tier law school graduates cannot find work in their chosen field.
Local general practitioners have also seen the effects of a tight market for legal services amidst a glut of service providers. Fortunately for them, appearing before the local magistrate or county trial judge cannot be outsourced to India like an e-discovery document review.
Nevertheless, globalization, digitization, and cloud-based data sourcing are driving fees for all legal services downward. Information is coming to the people at a bit-torrent pace. The client is forcing the attorney to re-think how service is measured and purchased.
Although professional pundits have been forecasting the death of the billable hour for the past two decades, it appears to finally be happening. Value-based alternative fee arrangements such as flat fees, performance contingencies, and multiple transaction discounts, are commonplace among competitive firms.
Survival in such an industry depends on a client-focused approach. Adding value to the client’s case, always important, is now imperative.
No one wants to overspend on a lawyer. Therefore, prior to hiring an attorney, do some research on the Internet; check the reviews; check the electronic profile. Your digital due diligence will increase the likelihood that your dollars will be well spent.