Many small businesses accept ambiguous pricing from the legal industry. Often, when we have a legal problem, we just want it to go away, no matter what the cost. There is also a lack of understanding of the level of effort that goes into certain legal tasks, not to mention the complexity of America's legal system. However, there are strategies to help control your legal costs. In this article for the OPEN Forum, Mike Periu offers four suggestions:
- Don't take no for an answer. Request a detailed budget which includes the rate per hour and total number of expected hours, plus fixed fees that may also be necessary. If an attorney isn’t willing to give you a budget, it could be a sign that they haven’t performed the type of legal work you need and therefore aren’t sure how much it will cost.
- Break it down. A large legal project can be divided into manageable pieces. Manage each stage as a mini-project.
- Work with specialists. Because attorneys charge for their time, as a client you want to use only the amount of time necessary to achieve your goal. Working with a specialist ensures that.
- Benchmark. Many legal tasks are procedural in nature. Use your company's past projects and experience from your peers to benchmark your proposed budget.
To read the full article, click here.
The FindLaw website is a good resource for legal matters, and they have an entire section dedicated to the needs of small businesses. For example, click here for a basic article on the types of legal costs you may see on your lawyer's bill.