The law profession is just not overcrowded, it is vastly overcrowded. Many factors contribute to this, but the chief contributors in my judgment are those law school deans who are more interested in keeping classrooms full and law professors employed than they are in ensuring that the supply of lawyer does not far exceed the demand for lawyers.
While this is bad news for the profession of law as a whole, the overcrowding does create a true “buyer’s market” for consumers of legal services. This is true in all practice areas whether it is family law or real estate law or any other practice area in between.
And because of the competition in today’s legal market, this overcrowding means that you do not have to accept the blanket terms and conditions a lawyer gives you regarding his fees and costs. Does he want $5,000 as a retainer to take on your legal matter? Tell him you will pay a $2,500 retainer or you will go elsewhere. Does he want .15 per photocopy? Tell him you will pay .05 (or you will pay .00) or you will go elsewhere.* Does he bill for travel time at his full hourly rate? Tell him you will pay him one-half his hourly rate (or you will pay .00) for time spent travelling on your legal matter.
I could give other examples. But I think you get the picture. The key is to carefully look over what your lawyer’s terms and conditions are when it comes to billing for services and then to negotiate downward.
If the lawyer will not make any changes, then you need to interview other lawyers. In fact, I always recommend that you interview at least 3 lawyers before deciding on who is best to take on your legal matter. It is just like you would do when deciding who to hire to take on a major home repair. As you you likely would interview at least 3 contractors before hiring one to undertake a major home repair, why should hiring a lawyer be any different?
On the backside of things, if you have already been billed for services and think you may have been overcharged, you still need to have LegalBillAudit.com review those legal bills. We may be able to provide you with the exact documentation you will need to negotiate a significant reduction in those fees. And even if you have already paid the fees in full, it may be that you are entitled to a refund. This is because lawyers are ethically obligated to return any overpayment of fees.
* The true costs of photocopies for most lawyers is just 3 to 4 cents.