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Breaking Away From the Billable Hour

Although billable hours have been the economic model for legal practices for generations, it’s time for a change. The reasoning is simple ⏤ we need to be more efficient. Although there are a myriad of reasons why construction businesses should move away from paying attorneys for each hour they work on every task, let’s discuss some of the main reasons why the billable hour method doesn’t work. If your business is interested in receiving comprehensive legal services at a fraction of the cost compared to billable hours, learn more about the prepaid legal services at Cotney Construction Law. 

Related: See the Features of Each of Our Subscription Plans 

The Biggest Problem With Billable Hours 

There’s a very simple reason why the billable hours system needs to be eliminated. Here are a few questions every business owner should consider when they invest in billable hours: 

  • Whose interest do billable hours serve? 
  • Is the system in your best interest? 
  • Does it serve the attorney billing the hours? 

The truth is that clients and lawyers self-interests are rarely aligned when you utilize a billable hours system. An over reliance on billable hours can stunt the growth of the firm, stress out the lawyer that needs to hit their quota, and upset the client when they receive that eye-opening bill. 

Billable Hours Rewards Attorneys For Taking a Long Time

Billable hours can incentivize attorneys to take longer to complete tasks. At many law firms, the more hours an associate bills, the more favorably they will be evaluated by their superiors. Encouraging an attorney to perform tasks slower than they need to is like encouraging a roofing contractor to take twice as long to install a new roof system. Of course, a roofing contractor will be paid for their service and not for the total number of hours it took to complete the task. Shouldn’t it be the same for their attorney? When a model is designed around a quantity of hours instead of the quality of the services, it promotes inefficiency and doesn’t guarantee that it will serve the needs of the client. 

Related: See Each Subscription Plan We Offer

Billable Hours Can Hurt the Client-Attorney Relationship

Billable hours can also drive a wedge between the client-lawyer relationship. If you need legal assistance, you have enough on your mind not to be left wondering how much time it will take your attorney to review a contract or file a lien on your behalf. When clients feel they are being overbilled, this naturally will build mistrust between their partnership. From the lawyer’s perspective, when they’re not forced into a billable hours system, they can focus on the work at hand and not have to worry about being micromanaged or getting into unnecessary disputes with their client. Removing billable hours can maintain business relationships and ensure both parties are on the same page.  

Billable Hours Can Hurt the Client’s Business 

Most contractors don’t consider hiring a lawyer until they need one. When they are facing a dispute and must contact an attorney, the attorney will end up spending a lot of billable hours sorting out the mess. This will lead to the client receiving a huge bill they aren’t happy about. From here, the client will only reach out to an attorney again when they need one. This creates a vicious cycle in which the contractor never seeks the protection their business needs and they end up paying more money for less comprehensive services. 

Investing in a Better Economic Model

When a lawyer is involved in all aspects of the operations before a dispute occurs, this will protect the contractor from liability and result in long-term savings. This is the concept we based our attorney subscription plan model after. We want to create a legal billing system that benefits the best interests of construction professionals and our law firm. You receive the reliable legal advice you need when you need it. We earn a long-term partnership with a trusted partner.  

Here are a few of the benefits your business receives when you invest in prepaid attorney services:

  • Accessibility: you receive access to an attorney on-demand when you need one. This includes unlimited phone calls to our law firm. Contractors and their team never have to worry about the cost of reaching out to their attorney, as billable hours are removed from the equation for all your non-litigation legal needs.  
  • Savings: with an affordable, monthly subscription plan in place, construction businesses can effectively budget their legal spend for an entire year. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about any hidden fees for our core legal services and you don’t have to factor in how long it will take an attorney to perform these services. This can result in significant, long-term savings. 
  • Protection: the key to our monthly subscription plans is that we can help your business reduce risk by being a legal advocate for all your legal needs. Whether it’s contract review, collections, employment law, or safety advice, our attorneys understand the industry and can help you achieve your business goals while protecting you from disputes that can jeopardize those goals.    

We recognize that construction businesses have a lot of challenging decisions to make about how to budget their funds, especially when it comes to legal services. We developed our subscription model for the construction businesses because the majority of our attorneys have a background in construction. Depending on your business needs, there’s a subscription plan for your business. 

If you would like to learn more about prepaid law firm services, please contact our construction law firm today.

Access. Protection. Savings.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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