ABA Journal


Law Practice Management

Few Lawyers Report Being ‘Very Satisfied’ with Alternative Fees, Survey Finds

Aug 28, 2012, 12:05 pm CDT


Well, there you go. Sometimes you do things to compete that you don't "embrace wholeheartedly." Another day, another shiny quarter.

By B. McLeod on 2012 08 28, 12:26 pm CDT

Given the state the "glamorous" practice of law, I'd be very surprised if lawyers were "very satisfied" about much of anything.

By Lee on 2012 08 28, 3:15 pm CDT

Oooh, lawyers dissatisfied with fees. Sounds like the old "New Normal".

By NoleLaw on 2012 08 28, 3:29 pm CDT

When I see a line item on a bill that shows a $400+/hr rate applied to the act of "reviewing file", the value equation of using BigLaw firms to do routine work becomes readily apparent. I look forward to moving my legal work to smaller markets or even offshore if I have to. If I have a "bet the company" issue, maybe I'll consider a high cost litigation squad. But my paper-pushing dollars are going elsewhere.

By Reason on 2012 08 28, 6:02 pm CDT

Why doesn't CSX pay the CEO a alternative paycheck instead of $27 million a year if they are soooo $$$ conscious???

By BP on 2012 08 29, 4:44 am CDT

"My paper pushing dollars are going elsewhere." Not saying $400/hr is necessarily reasonable in any particular instance, but there is a difference between an experienced lawyer looking at your file, a baby lawyer looking at your file, and a paralegal looking at your file. That is, if you care about having someone spot the potential legal problems, issues or even advantages for you. Also, might I add that if my clients spent a teensy bit more time organizing their paper in basic categories like "contracts" and "invoices," filed their correspondence in chronological order, and making a reasonable effort to give me all their documents the first, second or even third time that I ask for them, that would save me about 50% of the time I spend "reviewing file." Isn't it funny how no one tells a doctor, "it's my head that hurts, so you don't need a urine sample from me," yet as a lawyer I routinely see correspondence from my clients in other parties' document productions, only to be told by the client, "oh, I didn't think you needed that" or "I didn't think that was relevant." You want to cut down on paper pushing? Help us help you, and by all means consider hiring a firm that isn't spending $$$$ on a marble tiled office in a fancy downtown building.

@BP - I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall for the "alternative pay check" discussion with the CSX CEO.

By NCLawyer on 2012 08 31, 11:01 am CDT

Businesses will pay as little as possible for maximum benefit, regardless of fee structure. If there is someone out there who can do just as good of a job as you, and that person charges less, (s)he will get the job.

Why is this so hard to understand?

By Satisfied on 2012 08 31, 1:40 pm CDT

From the third paragraph: "Satkunas said both outside counsel and in-house lawyers tell her they aren’t yet comfortable with outside fees."

Did the author mean to write "alternative fees"?

By emjaycee on 2012 09 02, 1:36 am CDT

"Oh, some liquor was spilled on the bar room floor,
And the place was closed for the night,
When out of his house came the outhouse mouse,
And he sat in the pale moonlight. . ."

By B. McLeod on 2012 09 02, 3:34 am CDT

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