My Shingle

Ways to Make Sure You Get Paid

by Carolyn Elefant on May 19, 2005 · 8 comments

in Law Practice Management, Retainer Agreements, Setting and Collecting Fees

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As this article, Getting Paid, Not Played (Meg Tebo, ABA Journal, 5/19/05) begins, “Getting stiffed is almost like a rite of passage of solo practice.”  This article offers a couple of ideas from practitioners to avoid this rite, such as customizing and revising a retainer agreement to facilitate client payments, giving upfront estimates and collecting retainers large enough to compensate for work done if the client fails to pay any more beyond the retainer.

  • Anon

    Can’t you get most or all of the fee upfront, every time, or is that just not realistic? I’m law firm associate who constantly dreams about hanging my shingle. I read Foonberg’s book. He says “cash up front” is rule number one. I get the impression that individual clients are operating without perfect information and are intimidated, which is a good thing–meaning if you say “this is a $7,500 fee case,” knowing it is 20 hours of work or so, they will pay it, using a credit card or cards.

  • Anon

    Can’t you get most or all of the fee upfront, every time, or is that just not realistic? I’m law firm associate who constantly dreams about hanging my shingle. I read Foonberg’s book. He says “cash up front” is rule number one. I get the impression that individual clients are operating without perfect information and are intimidated, which is a good thing–meaning if you say “this is a $7,500 fee case,” knowing it is 20 hours of work or so, they will pay it, using a credit card or cards.

  • Anonymous

    Like most businesses, you can make more money if you are willing to extend credit to your customers. Because a lot of folks simply can’t or won’t put up enough money to make sure that the attorney’s fee is completely secure.
    The trick is to be savvy about the whos and the hows of extending credit. A lawyer with a 95% collection rate is making more money than a lawyer with a 100% collection rate or a lawyer with a 75% collection rate. Just my humble opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Like most businesses, you can make more money if you are willing to extend credit to your customers. Because a lot of folks simply can’t or won’t put up enough money to make sure that the attorney’s fee is completely secure.
    The trick is to be savvy about the whos and the hows of extending credit. A lawyer with a 95% collection rate is making more money than a lawyer with a 100% collection rate or a lawyer with a 75% collection rate. Just my humble opinion.

  • http://www.esquaredlaw.com Chris James

    You need to fix your link. You are missing the h. Just thougth I would let you know.
    Chris

  • http://www.esquaredlaw.com Chris James

    You need to fix your link. You are missing the h. Just thougth I would let you know.
    Chris

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