Five Simple Ways To Cut Unnecessary Costs On Your Family Lawyer
As with many professional services sectors, law professionals generally really only sell their time. And as we all know very well, time is money.
In the interests of saving everyone time (and money), we’ve compiled a short list of items to consider if budget is a factor (and let’s face it that it probably is!).
1. One email not ten
The same goes for phone calls. In “time billing firms” (which are in the vast majority), every single time you reach out to your lawyer (requiring them to pay attention to your matter), they will charge you in increments of time (most charge in 1/10ths of an hour or 6 minutes).
So, If they spend 1.5 minutes on your query they will charge you one unit. If they spend 7.5 minutes on your matter they will charge you 2 units or 12 minutes of time. If you send them ten separate emails requiring them to look at them ten separate times and it may be the case that the remainder of each unit of time is not used by your family lawyer and you are charged for it. If your contact is made all together then there can only be the chance that the remainder of time of the last unit can only be charged once. So save up your small questions and add them together, it will save you money.
2. Request to fill out Court or other forms
If you do the legwork on the time-consuming stuff your family lawyers or paralegals will not charge you the time. Secondly, it saves time providing them with the instructions they need to fill out the paperwork. You can cut out big costs doing as much to help as you can.
3. Provide clear and accurate instructions
Make sure you closely consider your instructions and don’t think quickly and change your mind three times it will likely cost you exponentially more. Once the work is done and if you say it needs to be changed it takes more time and work for your lawyer and you will likely be charged for it!
4. Listen to your lawyer
Go in with an open mind and ears. If you have an attitude for reasonable compromise and listen to your advisor and try to adapt your preconceptions and be creative (working in the bounds of your family lawyer’s advice), your matter will settle faster.
5. Change lawyers or choose the best fit in the first place.
You should choose a law firm or move to a law firm with up to date technology that reduces the time they spend on your matter. If it looks like they are not using the latest methods and online forms, contacts and tools, it is likely they are spending too much time doing things that technology can do for them. You will pay the difference in most cases.
6. Bonus tip
Be on the lookout for firms that charge you extra for things like a percentage on top for nothing other than “care and attention” to your matter. Look out for email copying and other office related charges. Look for firms who have an all-inclusive policy like set fees for set work or an hourly rate that includes all charges. A good trick is to ask them at the outset how their charges work.
Finally remember that your family lawyer should be there to get you to the end of your matter as quickly and painlessly as possible (including the pain on your wallet) if you or your lawyer get caught up in the fight, it may be time to re-evaluate your desired outcome (if it’s not reasonable) or think about changing to a lawyer with your best interests at heart.