The hourly rate could be facing some competition. According to bizlex.com, a site that focuses on business in Lexington, Kentucky, many firms are offering a more varied assortment of billing choices.
According to the article, the idea of offering alternative fee structures has been batted around in the legal community for years.
But why hasn’t it been implemented?
David Smith, managing partner of the firm Stoll Keenan Ogden, one of several attorneys who were interviewed for the bizlex piece, cited several factors as to why the time is ripe to consider options beside the per-hour rate: “‘… from decades of chatter about the hourly rate, frustration with people as far as how much legal fees cost, (client) frustration with the continuing inflation of hourly rates … the financial crisis, and particularly businesses that use legal services from large law firms are very squeezed, … they’re searching for cost savings.’”
What it comes down to is how much firms value the attorney-client relationship. Most firms have enjoyed long-standing relationships that span years. To put it simply, the old adage of sticking together through thick and thin couldn’t be more apt for both firms and their clients. Sticking together sometimes means creative thinking and offering alternatives that help everyone’s bottom line.