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Accommodate, But Don’t Negotiate Your Rates

When you’re starting out in law practice and feeling desperate for paying clients, you may be tempted to negotiate with your clients over your rates for legal services. Don’t do it! Negotiating your rates is not a good idea, but there are ways to accommodate a client and thereby create a win-win situation.

In this video clip, solo practice expert Carolyn Elefant cautions against negotiating your rates, but she gives alternative ways to accommodate your clients in paying for your services:

  1. Make it easier for your clients to pay through, e.g., payment plans.
  2. Reduce the scope of services you will provide by, e.g., cutting out less important tasks or a claim that is difficult to prove.
  3. Provide menu options with a range of prices for your services, i.e., different levels of service with different prices and let clients choose what works for them.

Check out the full program with much more practical advice and specific tools for new solo practitioners in CEB’s On Demand program Launching a Successful Law Practice. Also, anyone going solo should have CEB’s California Client Communications Manual: Sample Letters and Forms, which includes general attorney-client fee agreements as well as forms for fee collection letters and related lien matters.

Related CEB blog posts:

© The Regents of the University of California, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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