Question of the Week

Have you ever accepted something other than cash for legal services?

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In February, a lawyer on Solosez was asking for recipes as he had recently been paid for his services with 100 pounds of beef: “a couple dozen steaks, a lot of roasts, and the rest is ground beef.” He also noted that he’d previously been paid with an entire lamb.

“If I get paid, I can eat. If I get paid with food, well, I can eat,” the lawyer wrote in a follow-up post. “I like barter transactions, but legal services are usually so intangible that it’s hard to value them and trade them in a way that doesn’t leave one side or the other feeling ripped off. For this client, I found out that he’s friends with a rancher and asked if he’d be willing to get me some meat. So client bought the meat, told me how much it cost him, and I’m treating it as a cash payment.”

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Have you ever accepted something other than cash for legal services? If so, why did you decide to do it? If not, feel free to tell us about any amusing offers you have declined. (Though if a client made an, ahem, explicit offer that you declined and you’re wondering if you should write about it here—you probably shouldn’t. Stay classy, readers.)

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: What are your favorite lawyerly spaces?

Featured answer:

Posted by Texan in DC: “As a young attorney, I cut my teeth litigating cases across Texas, so seeing these images of the courthouses I visited so often in the early days of my practice brings a nostalgic smile to my face. However, one of my favorite ‘lawyerly spaces’ has to be the stairway leading up to the Great Hall at the Main United States Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C. with the murals of those that gave us the law going back to ancient times (Menes, Solon, Socrates, Moses, Papinian, Kent, Hammurabi, Justinian, up through more modern times). It is beautifully moving, as is much of the art work in that building, but the stairway still ranks as one of my personal favorite ‘lawyerly spaces.’ I doubt any attorney that has ever had the privilege of working at Justice can ever forget passing these images when going up the steps to the Great Hall for some event or another.”

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