SBM Member Directory Offers New Payment Options

SBM Member Directory Offers New Payment Options

Clear & Convincing Feature Article


“Did you know that we can add payment options to our profile in the SBM Member Directory?” asked Linda Lawyer entering the conference room of L&L Law. Brother Lance looked up.

“No, what are you talking about?”

“Well, you know how clients are always anxious to know the costs of their legal work. Now when they go to our profile page in the Directory, there is a section where we can explain our fees. Let me show you,” she answered pulling up her profile on her tablet.

Going to her profile page, she clicked on edit and found the section on payment options.

The first question is whether to charge for initial consultations. Some lawyers charge a consultation fee for the initial meeting with the client, while others offer free consultation. Any consultation, free or paid, is an opportunity to discuss what legal services a lawyer can provide given your particular case. L&L Law, which focuses on elder law, does not charge for the initial consultation so Linda clicks “yes” to the free consultation.

The next question is about their hourly rate. L&L now has two assistants for whom they charge less so they complete the high and low rates they charge for their hourly work. Occasionally, they ask for a retainer fee or advance payment that represents a portion of what the client will owe for services. If the situation calls for a retainer, they will explain that during the initial consultation.

L&L accepts all forms of payment—cash, check, or credit card. Linda clicks on all three forms.

The next section is labeled fixed price packages for doing specific tasks or types of cases. Their elder law practice is well suited for fixed price tasks. The tasks can be separated such as a will, a power of attorney, a simple trust, or combined into one package. Linda and Lance already have fixed fees established for some tasks so Linda completes the section adding several of their fixed price packages. They can easily add more as needed.

Prospective clients feel more comfortable contacting a lawyer when they know the cost of representation. Take time now to edit your profile to include your payment options.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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