Getting Paid to Complete the Cycle

The business cycle of practicing law includes getting the client, doing the work and, finally, getting paid.

David Leffler, in GPSolo Magazine (Oct/Nov 2007) suggests that there are five stages to paying a lawyer’s bill:

1.    Denial – Client says this couldn’t be my bill, the charges are too high.
2.    Anger –  Client says lawyers are way too expensive for what they achieve.
3.    Bargaining – Client seeks to negotiate a reduced fee with the lawyer.
4.    Depression – Client doesn’t contact you and is unavailble for your calls.
5.    Acceptance – When Client sends you a check that clears the bank.

David talks about the importance of the beginning of the lawyer-client relationship. I agree. The intake process is what essentially sets the tone of the relationship. In my opinion, your success in the intake process at the beginning will determine your success in collecting your fee at the end.

For more about suggestions about lawyers’ collections efforts, see my book.

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