Stop the Billable Hour Insanity

How Flat Fee Pricing for Attorneys Could Solve Your Problems

Are flat fee pricing models the future?


The most common pricing model among attorneys is charging by the hour.

This traditional method works well for many. However, people are starting to look for something different. And some law firms are there to give it to them.

As the ever-evolving market moves away from tradition, more and more attorneys are reconsidering their pricing model.

One of the most popular of those pricing models? Flat fees.

A flat fee is a predetermined, total fee that is paid upfront before work is started.


But is it right for your firm?

Pricing Model Considerations

Law Firm Administrative Work

Consider the following when looking at pricing models for your firm:

  • The experience for your clients
  • How your time will be spent
  • The effect on your sales and marketing

Your law firm is a business. Bringing in the most profit possible is a top priority.

But there are plenty of factors that play into that goal. No two law firms are the same. You need to know your clients, how you work best, the lifestyle you want, and the competition your firm faces.

Start by taking a look at the complications hitting your law firm the hardest. Then determine if a flat fee pricing model can solve them.


Charging by the Hour Can Be Suffocating

Attorney Cost

Constantly managing your life by the hour, to the fraction of the hour, is all-consuming. You’re always thinking about your work. How long did you spend on that case? And the other? Did you record it accurately?

If you didn’t, you could face the risk of legal malpractice for not keeping those records to the T.

Of course, you still need to keep track of your work with flat-rate pricing, but it doesn’t carry that same level of risk.


You’re In Control With Flat Fee Pricing


Flat fee pricing allows you to take control of your time. Work on cases the way you think is best.

Everyone has different work methods that suit them. This billing model gives you the opportunity to take advantage of that.

How flat fees give you control:

  • You won’t be constrained by time tracking
  • Your clients will pay upfront (No need to chase them down)
  • You can work your way – improve your own morale and efficiency
  • Work-life balance will be easier to achieve


Clients Have Trouble Managing Their Budget

Attorney and Client

And they don’t like it. No one does.

If you quote a potential client a $5,000 retainer fee and your hourly rate of $250, they hear numbers, but no price. They know they’ll lose $5,000 now, but they don’t know how much they’ll get back. If any. Or worse – whether they’ll owe more.

This leads to:

  • Stress and anxiety throughout the entire legal process
  • Wondering if you really need the amount of time you’re spending
  • Valuable trust being lost

Now, it’s not because they don’t trust you as an attorney or trust your ability to handle their case.

It’s because every hour you work on their case is another $250 gone. Your clients want you to spend time on their cases because they want the best possible outcome. But they can’t help but cringe every time their bill increases.

Additionally, your clients may feel pressured to rush through their interactions with you, which can leave them with unasked questions and uncertainties.


Flat Fee Pricing Gives Your Clients Financial Peace of Mind & Builds Trust

Attorney Handshake

The truth is that most people don’t know what they should be looking for in an attorney… so they shop around on price. (One reason why referrals are so valuable.)

Being able to quote potential clients one flat fee upfront gives them the peace of mind that they want. There’s a lot of value in knowing they won’t be hit with surprises, and in being able to accurately work you into their budget.

Flat fee pricing helps build trust between you and your clients as well. They know that you aren’t trying to squeeze the most money out of them that you can.

Flat fees prove to clients upfront that you care about them, not just their wallets.


Some Case Types Benefit More Than Others from Flat Fee Pricing

Attorney Laptop

Not every firm will be able to take advantage of flat fee pricing. Many case types are too complicated to assign one flat fee.

Litigation, for example, is difficult. Simply because you don’t know what could be coming around the corner. The other side could settle after the answer is filed, or they could file more motions. It’s hard to pick an average price that would work.


What works great with a flat fee pricing model?

Cases that are more transactional.

  • Estate planning
  • Contract reviews and drafting
  • DUI cases
  • Bankruptcy
  • Etc.

There isn’t as much variation with these types of cases, so it’s a lot easier to assign a price.


The Predictability of Flat Fee Pricing Can Help Scale Your Firm

Scale Your Law Firm Money

It’s hard to guess your future income when charging by the hour. Both the number of cases you’ll have and the time you’ll spend on them are unknown variables.

Flat fee pricing helps by taking away that second variable. You can have a much steadier idea of your potential income on a case-by-case basis.

Furthermore, it allows you to analyze and plan your budget more effectively. If you have your paralegal reviewing or drafting agreements before they land on your desk, you want to quantify that cost in relation to the case. It’s much easier to do that with real numbers vs a guess.


Flat Fee Pricing = Easier Sales

Attorney with Clients

Your clients aren’t really paying you for your time. They’re paying you for the value of the work you do for them on their case. The only reason they care how long it takes you is because how much they pay is dependent on it.

Most people don’t have experience searching for an attorney. And most people don’t have unlimited funds or the ability to not concern themselves with their final cost. For that reason, cost is usually a deciding factor in their selection.

With flat fee pricing, your firm has the advantage of being able to tell potential clients, “Here’s what you’ll pay. No surprises.”

. . .


There are plenty of attorneys who swear by flat fees. Megan Porth, Founder & Managing Attorney of Your Contract Shop, is one example.

It’s safe to say that people are interested in affordable, predictable, transparent, and accessible legal services. Nothing about that concept is novel. The market for this type of service is there.

Consider what you’re looking for in your firm and personal life. You do have options beyond typical hourly billing, and you can break out of that cycle!


Schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist today to strategize more ways to improve your law firm’s operations and your work-life balance.

Share the Law-ve | Episode 036: 4 Weeks To A Smoother Running Law Firm – Week 4: Company Scorecard

In the last episode of our 4-week series on how to completely form your business, Emily shares her final tip which is to have a meeting with your team or yourself and create a company scorecard. This will be filled with the important details from your company and should be checked weekly to see if you are making progress towards your goal and if not, what needs to be fixed.

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

Share the Law-ve | Episode 035: 4 Weeks To A Smoother Running Law Firm – Week 3: Big 3

In the third episode of our 4-week series on how to completely form your business, Emily shares her third tip which is to imagine yourself being stranded in an island, you have someone managing your firm and you can only ask them for 3 pieces of information to determine how the business is running.

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

Share the Law-ve | Episode 034: 4 Weeks To A Smoother Running Law Firm – Week 2: Working Backwards

In the second episode of our 4-week series on how to completely form your business, Emily shares how to “work backwards” after creating your vision map. You must put your big goals into a timeline and break it down month by month. This will create a process flow and will make you see what needs to be accomplished month by month in order to achieve your goal.

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

Share the Law-ve | Episode 033: 4 Weeks To A Smoother Running Law Firm – Part 1

In the first episode of our 4-week series on how to completely form your business, Emily shares her first thing to do – designing a vision map

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

Share the Law-ve | Episode 032: 3 Ways You Are Doing Social Media Wrong

Social media isn’t just about posting anything you want. In this interview, we have Shannon Hardy, co-founder of The Project Pros – a  business support company that helps other businesses in need of assistance whether virtual and non-virtual. They can do scheduling appointments, organizing office systems, and answering and scheduling appointments, social media, and much more.  In this episode, Shannon shared 3 things that you are doing wrong on social media

In this episode:

  • What does Project Pros do
  • The first thing you’re doing wrong in social media
  • Second thing you’re doing wrong in social media
  • Third thing you’re doing wrong in social media
  • Promoting your social media account

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met:

Guest Offer

  • Social Media & Blogging Package for $600/month

Share the Law-ve | Episode 031: The Most Unlikely D.A. In America

In this episode, we have Nueces County’s District Attorney Mark Gonzalez. He gained national attention since the beginning of his campaign in 2015 as being a non-traditional candidate for district attorney.  He describes himself as “Mexican biker lawyer covered in tattoos” and has been a defense attorney his entire legal career.

In this episode:

  • Mark shares his backstory to become a lawyer
  • Mark’s early career defending citizens accused of a crime
  • Bring business mentality to the courthouse as a District Attorney
  • Being smart vs. tough on crime 
  • What’s next for Mark as a D.A.

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

  • Mark Gonzales

Share the Law-ve | Episode 030: Teaching Entrepreneurship to Lawyers

Are you an overworked attorney who doesn’t have enough time to go on a vacation without leaving your computer at home? Do you feel like you’re not earning what you deserve or you don’t have any exit strategy for retirement? In this week’s episode, we have Richard James – Founder and President of Automated Business Results LLC. Richard has devised a process for helping attorneys build a practice that supports their lifestyle, not undermines it. He believes that systems should run your law firm and people should run your systems.

In this episode:

  • The First thing he works on when a lawyer comes to him
  • Misconceptions about coaching
  • Why Richard still has a coach
  • How a mastermind works and why it’s important
  • Is a mastermind fit for solo lawyers?
  • Making sure your business is profitable to help more people
  • Can entrepreneurship be taught to lawyers
  • Upcoming Mastermind meeting & Bootcamp by Richard James

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

Share the Law-ve | Episode 029: Taking A Break To Fuel Your Business

In this interview, we have Mae Innabi – an attorney, business owner, and unshakable advocate dedicated to helping her clients reach new levels of success. She is the recipient of the 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Star Award, awarded to only 2.5% of attorneys in the country. Innabi Law Firm PLLC is an AV-Preeminent Rated Law Firm by Martindale-Hubble, the highest rating available for professional excellence.

Managing clients with excellence became harder and harder for her firm as the business grows. She reached out to other attorneys and one of them referred her to join a program called ‘Strategic Coach’ and has been really helpful for her firm. In this episode, she shared some tips that she learned on that program and how to form a great team for your firm

In this episode:

  • Why Business Law?
  • Mae’s first exposure to a coaching program
  • A recent change that she made that feels like all attorneys should have
  • “If you have the right people in place, your absence will actually fuel the business”
  • Secrets to forming a great team

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: 

Share the Law-ve | Episode 028: Podcast Pro Tips

Are you planning to launch a podcast? If so, this week’s episode is for you. Shaina Weisinger
from Podcast Memes and Video Podcast Producers shares her pro tips on how to do video

In this episode:

  • Why every business should have a podcast
  • Barriers to entry on podcasting
  • What does Podcast Memes do
  • Tips for someone who’s making a video podcast
  • Video Podcast Producers’ training course
  • More tips from Shaina on video podcasting

Get in touch with the Lawve-ly people and businesses you met: