What does it cost to hire us?
Let’s face it, paying for a lawyer is not a lot of fun but I have spent several years experimenting and A/B testing trying to make it (relatively) painless. Painlessish. Here is how our legal fees work, and what you should expect moving forward if you retain us:
In order to hire us to represent you in your Family Court case, we require a retainer. A retainer is an amount of money you pay at the outset of your case which the law firm uses – literally bills against – when they work on your case.
For example, say you hire ABC Firm to handle a child custody case. On the day you hire them you probably sign a fee agreement (basically, a contract) and pay a retainer of $6,000.00. That $6,000.00 is your money which ABC Firm holds in its IOLTA account and bills against as they work on your case. So, if the week after you hire them ABC Firm’s paralegal works for an hour on our case then one hour of billable paralegal time (let’s say here for easy use the paralegal is billed at $100.00 per hour) technically, $100.00, of that retainer is no longer yours but now belongs to ABC Firm. ABC Firm uses that $100.00 on its afternoon fancy coffee run.
To simplify, look at it as if you are paying a part of your final bill at the very beginning.
Returning to our example above, let’s say your case lasts six months and the total bill from ABC Firm comes to $7,000.00 for all work done. You paid $6,000 at the outset, your retainer, so ABC Firm would send you a bill for $1,000.00. Easy right? ABC thinks so.
Problem is, who the hell has $6,000 to pay a retainer?!
Now, here is how your retainer works at my office.
My retainer ($2,500) is significantly lower than at any other R.I. Family Court law firm. I can do that because I am my own boss. I’m okay with that and my clients are okay with that. How I am able to successfully operate a law office at such a low retainer is that I work on what is called the “evergreen” system. This means that if your retainer runs out (if the time my office spends on your case exceeds the amount of the retainer) you must replenish it for us to continue work. This way, the client has a (very) low retainer at the outset, understands that another retainer may be needed down-the-line and can prepare for that financial reality over the coming months, and my office benefits from never having to “work from behind” or send annoying reminders about invoices. Win-win.
And we utilize a transparent billing system so that you know, in real-time, exactly what work was done on your case, what your retainer balance is, at all times.
No bills. No surprises. Very little grief. Brilliant right? I know.