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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of December 22, 2015

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Enjoy the season and best wishes for good health.

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Raising Fees: Let the Good Times Roll

No one likes to pay more money than previously for anything, whether it is a bottle of shampoo, a pound of meat, or the services of a lawyer. However, there are times when it works well for a lawyer to raise his fees.

A Big-Ticket or Break-the-Company Case

In a big-ticket or break-the-company case, price doesn't seem to matter. The client's options are limited, and the perception of need—and therefore of value—is high. When well-known, big-time litigators ask hundreds and hundreds of dollars per hour, major corporations aren't likely to balk because their matters are serious and they want whomever they perceive to be the best, price notwithstanding.

A Hot Economy

When the economy is hot, it is a good time to raise your fees. When people are doing well financially, prices of goods and services are reviewed less carefully because additional income is always "just around the corner" to pay the bill.

Business Bursting at the Seams

When you have more business than you can handle without expanding, you don't want to expand, so you can safely raise fees. You may lose a few clients, but you generally won't care because you are already at your desired maximum.

Client Perception of Fair Fees

When clients say your rate or total fee is more than fair, you can conclude that your fee structure is at the lower end of the fee spectrum in comparison to your competitors. It seems, then, that there is room to raise your fees with minimal client resistance.

Lower End of Fee Spectrum

When other lawyers send you business because the client won't pay their rates, it is likely time to raise your fees. These lawyers are unwilling to accept the lower fee that the client expects to pay them.

Comfort Zone

When you have found your comfort zone, you can safely raise your fees. In other words, when you can stop laughing at the new fee you're contemplating, it is time for a fee increase.



Raising Fees: Let the Good Times Roll

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LawBiz® Registry: Buy or Sell Your Practice

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"Ed educated me on how to implement a plan for the management of my law offices, which I have set up in Santa Monica. With his help, I was able to conceive and put into effect a business plan which promises not only to simplify my business, but to make it more profitable as well. He readily pinpointed my needs and offered sage advice on what I could do to rectify the problems that I have been facing. For this, I am forever grateful and will highly recommend him to anyone who asks."

Santa Monica, CA

"I decided to "go solo" and start my own practice after being a senior associate at a large national law firm. I started in temporary office space with a secretary and one associate attorney. I retained Ed Poll to provide comprehensive consulting and guidance in establishing my permanent office. He knew from day one how to re-shape my thinking from being a day-to-day lawyer into being in charge of a business. Ed knew the right questions to make me answer. Ed has taught me virtually everything I know about formation, planning, and now management of a successful law firm. I would enthusiastically recommend Ed Poll for retention as a consultant in connection with any aspect of law practice management."

Los Angeles, CA


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