January 18, 2006
Compete on Service--Don't Reduce Your Fees (Or You'll "Be Hating Life").
Both Ed Poll at LawBiz Blog and Jonathan Stein at The Practice have had good recent posts (respectively, here and here) on this subject. Unless it's a trade-off for volume work for a client you've worked with before, I am a believer in the idea you should not reduce your fees. Compete on service--not price. While I've posted on this before, I like Ed's and Jonathan's slightly different takes (for different types of clients) on this topic better than anything I've said on it previously.
The primary reason, for me: if clients come to you for price, they will leave you for price. And if you think about it, would-be clients who negotiate or haggle about price are not likely to know the difference between quality lawyering and "just going through the motions" anyway. They are out there in droves--well-meaning but unsophisticated users of legal services, both businesses and individuals, who think all lawyers are the same and doing the same fungible cookie-cutter stuff every day. These clients don't appreciate any lawyer; they don't and won't ever get it. If one becomes your client, very quickly you--as a popular Washington DC disc jockey used to say--will "be hating life".
Posted by JD Hull at January 18, 2006 02:12 PM