Lower Legal Fees than the Competitors
So why does our law office charge less than our competitors in the same area of law? You will ask yourself – am I getting less services? Are the other lawyers betters because they charge more?
The realities is some law firms and solo practitioners have not changed with the time. There has been a revolution in the practice of law which requires lawyers to save money for the client while increasing productivity. This revolution of change is based on the cost legal research, cloud computing, advertisement cost, and the automation of the practice of law.
Legal research used to be controlled by the major vendors – Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis. Lawyers can now do free research on Google Scholar or Fastcase (a service provided to lawyers for free who members of the DC or Maryland Bar) . Some lawyers do not know that this is a free service provided by the local bar association.
Cloud computing has drastically reduced cost because a small law firm has the same computing power that huge law firms had in the past. With cloud computing lawyers can communicate with clients, store client files, calendar management of the firm, and share client files with other members of the firm. This means that the traditional office space that required large rooms to accommodate large client files is eliminated. Furthermore, the clients information is protecting with encryption. At Rollins and Chan law firm, we use Clio case management software. We have been using this service for the last 5 years. With Cloud computing we rarely ever send “snail” mail to a client. Instead , the client is sent a link to access the letter or file through a secured portal. Even the retainer agreement is sent to the client using Hellosign and the client signs on their cell phone or on ipad.
Traditional advertising such as the yellow pages and television ads has been virtually eliminated by Google , bing, yelp, yahoo and other search engines. We no longer have to pay huge up front cost on for a 1 page ad. Instead, because we write information Blogs, make information videos, and write quality organic articles – search engines favor this and give free advertising because we provide this service. We do from time to time pay for ad words on the search engines if we are in the need to develop more clients. Furthermore, clients are able to review services of the law firm online. We strive hard to get good reviews for clients and this increases our chance for repeat and referral business. The lawyer can not skate by with weak services to a client because the client can do reviews. In the past, a small law firm like us, had to rely on the word of mouth – now we can reach thousand of potential clients because of good online reviews.
Some things a lawyer does – he or she has done a thousand times already such as general letters to opposing counsel requesting discovery. If the lawyer has to retype the opposing lawyers information into the letter this cost the client. Instead lawyers can through a good case management software have the ability to press a button and draft that letter within seconds. Another example of office automation is to use Skype or Google Video is a low cost alternative for clients to meet us while avoiding the expense of travel and parking fees associated with downtown DC.
If law firms are not leveraging with technology and are using more traditional forms of practice, you will find your lawyer fees substantial higher. Remember, they have to pass the file storage, legal research, and advertising onto the client through the fees. So when you call us and say why are your fees so much lower than XYZ law firm, it is not because they are some how superior. Remember, the marble floors, fancy paintings are being paid by you. You have to come to the lawyer to solve the problem, not be impressed with how great the décor of their hallway is.
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Rollins and Chan Law Firm