How To Make More Money As A Lawyer

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Money for LawyersOne topic that brings many people to this website is searching for the term “How to make money as a lawyer.”

They don’t teach you this in law school and I’m happy to fill the knowledge gap.

For the purpose of our discussion today, let’s assume you are a good lawyer and you have a steady stream of referral sources sending you clients.

You are attracting a few new matters each month and you are paying your bills on time but you want to make more money as a lawyer.

There is one way to increase your income without lots of hand wringing and worry.

Simply increase your fees, keep doing high quality work, and prove more value to your clients.

It’s that simple.

Don’t think so?

Here’s an example:

A few months ago one of my clients, an Intellectual Property Attorney, came to me with this exact challenge.  You see, he was attracting lots of new trademark work but he was only charging $1,500 per filing.  Not only did he think this was fair, but he believed it was the highest fee in his market.

My first question to him was:  “What does that include?”

He responded that the fee included a trademark search and the actual filing.

“What about responses office actions, subsequent monitoring of the mark, and any compliance related work after the mark’s approval?” I asked.

“Those are all additional fees, charged later on.”  He replied.

My solution:  “Add a zero and charge those fees up front.”

So now this attorney offers a package fee that provides “Lifetime Trademark Service.”  This means he files the application, responds to any office actions, monitors the mark for infringement, sends out “cease and desist letters” if someone infringes, and keeps all filings up to date for the client, for up to 20 years.  He charges a one-time fee of $15,000 for this service.

This provides overwhelming value for the client and it helps keep the client engaged with the attorney for a long, long time.  The annual costs for the attorney are minimal (monitoring is provided by a subcontracted service and the attorney receives a discounted rate for monitoring hundreds of marks).

To date, and it’s only been four months, sixty percent of the new filings in this attorney’s practice have been for this upgraded service.

Every law firm can provide some kind of upgraded service and many clients will chose it.

If you are wondering how to make more money as a lawyer, you need to look no further than your own client base.  The answer lies within your own creativity and ability to address the needs of your clients.