10 rules about hourly billing for law firms.
These "rules" were written sometime in 2010 or earlier by U.S. lawyer, blogger & creative entrepreneur Matthew Homann who at the time was the founder of LexThink. I loved them then and still do now.
I recently asked myself has much changed in 6 years? Thankfully both for the legal profession and our customers, for more and more law firms yes, but for many others.....................?
1. Ask your clients what they buy from you. If it isn’t time, stop selling something they don't buy!
2. Imagine a world where your clients know each month how much your bill will be so they could plan for it. They do.
3. If you don’t agree on fees at the beginning of a case, you’ll be begging for them at the end of it.
4. Sophisticated clients who insist on hourly billing do so because they’re smarter than you are, not because they want you to be paid fairly.
5. When you bill by the hour, your once-in-a-lifetime flash of brilliant insight that saves your client millions of dollars has the same contribution to your bottom line as the six minutes you just spent opening the mail.
6. Businesses succeed when their people work better. Law firms succeed when their people work longer. Your clients understand this -- and resent you for it.
7. Every time your clients jokingly ask you, “Are you going to charge me for this?” they aren’t joking -- and they’ll check next month’s bill to be sure.
8. The hardest thing to measure is talent. The easiest thing to measure is time. The two have absolutely no relationship to one another. Your law firm measures talent, right?
9. Would you shop at a store where the cost of your purchase isn’t set until after you’ve agreed to buy it? You ask your clients to.
10. There are 1440 minutes each day. How many did you make matter? How many did you bill for? Were they the same minutes? Didn't think so."
What do you think? Do these "rules" still apply? Are we changing the "we sell time" mindset and business model of the legal profession? Are we changing it quick enough? As usual I would be interested in your thoughts?
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