One of the most deplorable aspects of the law firm industry, for both the attorney and the client, is the billable hour. The number of hours an attorney spends on a project is not an accurate measure of the value of the legal services performed, and hourly billing is subject to abuse. Yet the billable hour remains ingrained in the industry, and the relationship between many firms and clients revolve around it.
Hourly law firm billing creates a bold, red question mark in a healthcare provider's budget, and law firms go boom or bust depending on how many .15, .5, .75, 1, 3.5 and 6 hour entries they can amass on time sheets. Doesn't it create a perverse incentive that the more trouble you're in, the more time entries your lawyer is able to rack up? It's a boom for the lawyer when you're in trouble, and it's a bust for the lawyer when everything is going well for you. The billable hour is also unpleasant for attorneys, who are often expected to generate thousands of billable hours a year in addition to mandatory participation in firm marketing efforts, necessary continuing education and typical office administrative functions. The result is too often padded time sheets and client dissatisfaction.
Fortunately, alternative fee arrangements to the billable hour exist.
John Little, Attorney at Law, PC, utilizes an annual agreement with its healthcare provider contracts, at a fixed price payable monthly, covering basically everything the provider may need an attorney for in the conduct of its business, such as:
For the client, alternative fee arrangements offer budget predictability, and they can drive down legal costs. Regardless of the form taken, what alternative fee arrangements all have in common is a move away from the billable hour. They enable a client to pick up the phone, call their attorney and ask a question or get help whenever needed, without fear they'll end up with a lengthy timesheet for an elaborate project recycled through associates under pressure to meet billable hour quotas.
To inquire about an alternative fee arrangement legal services agreement for your practice, contact John Little, Attorney at Law, PC.