Thursday, May 13, 2010

a lawyer's quest to find make money

last tuesday, i was very sad.

you see, one of my favorite clients, one whose case i felt very passionate about, decided to terminate our services. we were too expensive, they explained. they further claimed that they couldn't afford us, that it was as if they'd actually lost the case even if we actually won it for them. they've decided to go with someone else.

backtrack: our firm does time billing. this means that regardless of the nature of the work, we will bill you depending on the amount of time spent performing that work. the nature of our charges are clearly outlined in the engagement letter sent to the clients but as i've learned from experience, very few clients actually read the letter before signing. i guess desperation does that to you.

going back to my story, our clients claimed that they misunderstood the terms of our engagement and therefore were quite surprised when they received our bill. apparently the reason why they felt so good (at that time) asking for a whole lot of meetings, discussions, and what not was the fact that they didn't know they were going to be billed for time spent on their case. in the end, it didn't matter that we had written a very convincing pleading, one that (i believe) would stand up even to the supreme court's scrutiny. it likewise didn't matter that we were available to them 24/7, or that we shared their passion in the case. what mattered was that they didn't believe we were worth the amount we had charged.

boo, client. boo you.

that event reminded me of something my previous boss mentioned to us over lunch -- doctors have a huge advantage over lawyers. it doesn't matter if the patient dies; in the end, they'd still thank the doctor (salamat doc at ginawa niyo ang lahat ng makakaya niyo) and pay his bills. on the other hand, it doesn't matter how well the lawyer performed; if you lose, good luck in getting paid. (in my case, even if we won, good luck in getting paid) truly, it's a thankless job.

still, we have to make money, right?

and so, i present: alternative billing methods.

more on this tomorrow (or when i've got the time)

0 said hello!:

Related Posts with Thumbnails