May 19, 2024

Tullio Corradini

Trusted Legal Source

Advice on Flat Fee Billing from Two Lawyers Who Do It

Advice on Flat Fee Billing from Two Lawyers Who Do It

This report summarizes critical takeaways from the #ABATECHSHOW presentation “Flat Costs: the F Phrase You are going to Study to Love” by flat rate professionals Regina Edwards and Ashley Pepitone.  Summary centered on my notes, compiled by Chat GPT with extra editorial review.

The Rewards of Flat Costs for Attorneys

This presentation on flat service fees for legal professionals opened by highlighting the added benefits of flat costs. Initially, the speakers explained the challenges with hourly service fees which includes unpredictability, inefficiency, and consumer dissatisfaction with surprise charges and cost disputes. In contrast, flat charges offer predictability for each consumers and legal professionals in conditions of revenue and workload. Flat charges also incentivize attorneys to function successfully and build efficient methods for addressing jobs.

Subsequent, lawyers do not need to have to adopt flat service fees all at the moment.  Alternatively, they can structure their apply places to apply flat expenses selectively, these kinds of as for enterprise/transactional matters, unique/private issues, family regulation, estate organizing, legal law, and immigration. Lawyers can also check out flat charges for a confined time period or specific kinds of matters.

A different profit of flat service fees is that they incentivize effective conversation by attorneys.  Legal professionals can use technology to connect efficiently, commonly, and include consumers in their cases. Lawyers must also acquire methods to establish robust communications guidelines for clientele Several conversation engineering resources are out there at to aid legal professionals keep effective and continue to keep shoppers informed.

Commonly Requested Inquiries About Flat Charges

The speakers then addressed popular FAQs on flat costs:

FAQ 1:  What takes place if a situation drags out? 

A- Look at options this sort of as charging flat expenses per thirty day period or for every trial day in courtroom, or producing a period-based rate agenda with a menu of products and services outlining charges for “extras.” 

FAQ 2- How can lawyers make far more with flat costs in comparison to hourly billing when, for case in point, a divorce billed by the hour can be upwards of $50,000?

A- The speakers mentioned that hourly billing can be much much more restricting than flat service fees.  Beneath a flat price timetable, a law firm can cost a modest $5k for an uncontested divorce and handle them all the similar working day (for a whole of $20k) whereas, on an hourly timetable, the fee would be a great deal less. Flat expenses also never count on others to invoice and accumulate so a  solo practitioner with no associates, modest workers and programs can do really perfectly.  The critical is for lawyers to determine out how a great deal they want to gain each and every month, and reverse engineering billing to layout a practice, determine out what to demand

FAQ 3 – Are flat charges moral? 

A- They are authorized underneath the bar guidelines of each and every state, but have to be done effectively and in accordance with point out requirements. [Editor’s Note – additional ethics of flat fee billing can be found at MyShingle and Attorney at Work]   

FAQ 4 – Will clientele connect with and e mail additional with flat expenses? 

A- It can happen but handling client anticipations is important.  To lower calls, lawyers can use safe client portals or thoroughly worded scenario updates to preserve clientele knowledgeable without applying up law firm time.  Attorneys can also use a tight engagement agreement for flat fees with alternatives these as a regular monthly subscription model, a rate routine for every occasion, or charging in phases.