Lawyers must be innovative, and must increase access of the law to the people. And here’s a story featured in Seattle Pi today, of a lawyer running his law office, at flat rates, from the backend of his barber shop.
Though Donald E. Howard II passed the bar exam easily, he is yet to get his barber’s license. He did not devote enough time to that business to be proficient enough to go for the license. But he says he wants to retire as a barber.
His barber shop in New Britain is named Legal Cuts and his law office, the Howard Law Firm. Howard states he drew his inspiration from the Legal Grind, a coffee shop in Santa Monica, California, that offers legal advice over lattes.
Rather than having an imposing law office, he thought of a place where people could feel relaxed, and up came his barber shop – Legal Cuts.
Howard says the barber shop is a place where people talk freely of their woes and a place where you can learn a lot about the community. It’s one of the best places to mentor kids or people or anyone who requires help.
In his work as a public defender for the Superior Courts and as a clerk in Rockville Superior Court, he says, he found people were most concerned about having to miss work to file papers at the court.
So, he has all common legal forms at the back of his barber shop, and he helps people fill them out for free, but charges $75 to go to court and file them.
The Howard Law Firm at the back of his barber shop has a whiteboard listing flat fees like $4 a page for notarizing documents, $75 for filing court documents, $150 for a will and $795 for a first DUI offense.