Finding good as well as economical attorneys can be difficult, but certainly not impossible.
You may think that the term “good, economical attorney” is an oxymoron. But in my legal bill review work for corporations, I very often see examples of economical attorney who get good results. When I do, I always take the time to call positive attention to these attorneys. I think that these attorneys should be rewarded with more business.
Finding good, economical attorneys takes more than blind luck. It takes following proven methods that will produce the desired results.
Assuming you can take care of the “good” piece, here are some new twists on the “economical” piece.
- Checking References Everyone has references. The trick is to get past the pre-selected references. Ask to see a list of all their clients for the past year. Then, select at least 3 at random and call them. Use a script to ask the same questions of each reference. Be sure to ask probing questions about any billing issues and errors they have experienced with the attorney.
- Billing Procedures Don’t make the first time that you discuss billing with an attorney is after you get their first bill. Make billing a part of your upfront discussion. Go over what they bill and do not bill for including costs. Make sure there is agreement on the key parts.
- Savings Philosophy Ask what the attorney (and the firm) is doing to save on fees and costs for the clients. Go over in detail how would they go about handling your legal matter to achieve both a quality result yet save on fees and costs?
Spending some extra time up front with new lawyers discussing billing issues helps create a “sentinal” effect. It signals to them that you are very serious about keeping legal costs down.