This is the comment I posted to an article entitled, “The Billable Hour Must Die”, by Scott Turow, published in the ABA Journal‘s August issue.
“I am hoping that lawyers, especially litigators, will more often be bold enough to consider offering clients alternative billing arrangements.”
I agree with this statement made by Turow in his article. It was taking an initial risk professionally, but I have been practicing law online from a virtual law office where I can offer clients price quotes and fixed fees for my services. It’s similar to the “fair fee” system Turow mentions in the article. It lets my clients know upfront what they can expect to pay so that they may budget for it.
The system has a learning period for the attorney to figure out the balance of how many hours it will take to do a project and then equate that with a fee based on the initial consultation with a client. However, the client response to this system of paying for legal services has been great. I’m hoping more attorneys will consider this or at least integrate it along with their current billing methods. Virtual law practice is also a great way to provide cost-effective services to clients. Without the overhead of a physical law office it also makes sense for the attorney.
If anyone is interested in how it works, Virtual Law Office Technology (VLO Tech) provides software that sets up virtual law offices for attorneys (patent pending). Again, I’ve been practicing law completely online for over a year now and the public response has been very positive. It provides a good alternative to the traditional billing system.