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Setting and Collecting Fees

An Interesting Technique for Getting Legal Fees Paid: Shouldn’t Lawyers Be Better Than Mobsters?

December 7, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Peter Olson’s Solo in Chicago is another one of those great, unsung blogs that’s been running for years, seamlessly marrying tips on starting a practice with Olson’s own experiences.  A few days ago, Olson posted a link to an article by legal consutant Ellen Freedman from the ISBA journal (not publicly available) entitled Don’t be […]

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How Tollbridge Businesses Can Provide An Annual Revenue Stream for Solo and Small Firms

November 3, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Yes, I still read the local newspaper (in my case, the Washingtonpost) in hard copy every so often, and today I came across this article on the value of annuity contracts — or as Warren Buffett calls them toll bridge businesses — to small service providers like heating or air conditioning contractors. So what’s a […]

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Hey Lawyers – What Ever Happened to Value Billing For Legal Services?

October 20, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

About four years ago, one of my very favorite bloggers, David Giacalone wrote this provocative post, Value Billing versus Value Bilking, arguing that in many instances, value billing represented just another way for lawyers to extract more money from clients when the billable hour didn’t yield as much.  Back then, I didn’t completely agree with […]

Read more Legal Profession Trends 10 comments

Don’t Negotiate, Do Accommodate

October 18, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Last season, my daughters and I became fans of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.  While my girls enjoyed  the show for the recognizable products that were often the subject of the challenge, I watched for marketing lessons.  And one of the lessons that’s remained with me now, even several months later, was gleaned from a competition […]

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Look Who’s Discounting Their Fees

May 30, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

If you’ve ever discounted your fees, either voluntarily to lure a client to your firm or involuntarily because  your client ran out of cash, you’re in strong company.  As I posted over at Legal Blogwatch, 76 percent of law firms discount their fees.  But what’s even more interesting is that 89 percent of the discounters […]

Read more Big Law/Small Law 2 comments

Real Life Marketing Lesson: Are You Charging Clients Like American Airlines?

May 21, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Not surprisingly, many American Airlines customers expressed significant outrage over the airline’s recently announced plans to charge passengers additional fees for checking bags and for certain services related to reservations. Indeed, the news may have irked you as well. But before you start venting, ask yourself whether your billing policies “nickel and dime” your clients […]

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Do They Always Dance With the One Who Brought Them?

April 29, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Many small firms wonder whether they should offer free or low cost legal services to start-up companies or small businesses in the hopes that those companies will generate more lucrative business as they grow.  Sounds great in theory, in many cases, once those baby start-ups mature, they may dump you for a more established law […]

Read more Dealing With Clients 0 comments

$42 Million Fee – Inherently Unreasonable? That Depends, But Here, It Was

November 30, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Over at Legal Blog Watch, I’ve posted my view on the $42 million fee collected by a law firm in a multi-million dollar estate matter. Basically, the lawyers originally had a fee agreement with the client; when she found her legal fees mounting (to the tune of $1 million per quarter), she asked her lawyers […]

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What Does A Sample Invoice Look Like?

November 26, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

I realize that these days, alternative billing is all the rage – and I too am a proponent of alternatives to the billable hour. Still, there are times when you have to resort to the billable hour, either at the insistence of a client, or under some of the guidelines for submitting a fee petition […]

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Billing Alternatives For Solos

November 2, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Here’s an article from the ABA Journal entitled Billing by the Slice, which offers some alternative billing ideas by and for solos. With “billing by the slice,” lawyers bill for a case in stages – a practice used by Ted Waggoner of Rochester Indiana. From the article, Waggoner describes that: he might tell a client […]

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