Last week we outlined the problems with the “Billable Hour” in the provision of legal services. The post this week is on how Patriot Law Group is different.
Essentially our difference is all about planning. At Patriot Law Group our focus is on catering the legal services provided to our clients to work towards a clear goal, based on a mutually agreed plan. In summary, this involves the following steps:
- We Understand and Evaluate Client Goals. We start by determining and evaluating the client’s goals, and the factual situation presented by the client’s circumstances.
- We Develop a “General Plan.” With an understanding and realistic assessment of the client’s goals, we outline a general plan which focuses on the “big picture” strategy to move the client’s matter forward.
- We Develop a series of specific tasks in support of the General Plan. The next step involves determining exactly what legal work must be completed to move the client’s matter forward in a way that is consistent with the General Plan. This step includes determining both the “small” and “big” tasks that must be completed.
- We Price the Plan. Based on the tasks to be completed, and focusing on the distinct tasks that would take the client to the next step at which a decision would be required, or a further analysis would be necessary, we prepare a quote for the legal work involved for the specific steps.
- Clients review and approve the plan and the quote. Clients then have the opportunity to evaluate and approve (or not) the general plan, the specific tasks outlined (the “Scope of Work”) , and the quoted price for the legal services.
- We Move ahead with the Plan. If the client agrees with the proposed plan and the price for the services, then the lawyer and the client move ahead with the plan. The plan is moved ahead in a segmented fashion. This means that the client has the opportunity to review and approve the steps (and price) necessary for each segment of the work. Each of these segments is focused on the work required to bring the matter to a stage where a new decision is required by the client.
- We Prepare a Change Order. If additional work is required to move the client’s matter forward after completing the approved Scope of Work, then the lawyer prepares (and the client must approve) a Change Order adding additional tasks.
Our view is that this approach is superior to the billable hour approach to legal services for a variety of reasons, including:
- The lawyer and client are clearly aligned as to the goals and task that must be completed to work toward those goals. This means that there has been coordinated “strategic planning” about the client’s case.
- There is certainty as to the price (and value) of the services being provided and the client has the ability to review and approve these at each stage.
- There can be differentiation in the price of each task to be completed so that the fees reflect the value being provided. So, for example, there would be larger fees for important work such as the participation in a settlement meeting, and smaller fees associated with routine administrative matters such as providing copies of correspondence.
If you are interested in finding out about how Patriot Law Group may be able to assist you with your legal issues, please contact us.