One of the topics that I blogged about a while back had to do with being “penny wise; pound foolish”. In my previous blog that was referenced to situations involving commercial leasing. However, the phrase is also applicable to purchases and sales of real estate.
I felt it is appropriate to blog on this issue once again as on many occasions we will receive calls from prospective clients and the first question they ask is what do you charge? While I understand in certain fields (e.g., retail) it pays to price shop, but I submit law is not one of them. The reason being is – unlike a person who enjoys driving and buying a new car every year – most people are not seeking an attorney because they enjoy learning about the law. Rather they are seeking an attorney because they have an issue that requires legal advice. As such, the primary concerns for the prospective client should be does this attorney know what he/she is doing, will this attorney be attentive to my concerns, will the attorney explain the process to me, will the attorney explain what I am signing, etc. I submit, if you are going into get heart surgery are you worried about what the doctor charges or are you primary concerned with whether the doctor knows what he’s doing. My feeling is most people would chose the latter; so why should law be any different.
I also raise this topic as lately we have fielded numerous calls from people who are looking to terminate their relationship with their current attorney, because they feel the attorney is unresponsive or has kept them in the dark as to what’s going on. When we ask why they chose the attorney, often times they respond, “well his fee was cheaper than the other attorney’s I called or researched on-line”. Please note that I am not saying that someone who’s fee is below market is doing a bad job. However, you should caution as to why that is. You should also note that attorneys will often charge based on their experience as well as the time they are putting into the matter. This also does not mean that you should pay an attorney a fee that is well above market. We are merely noting that while price might be a factor, it should not be the primary factor; rather knowledge, diligence, and experience should be the driving factors when choosing an attorney.
*The information in this blog posting is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this blog or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.