Helping the Financially Weak Get Strong Legal Advice
After all those years of college and thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of debt, it’s hard for attorneys to imagine using their skills and education purely out of the goodness of their hearts—especially since one of the inducements to become a lawyer was the good pay. However, as big law firms are beginning to shrink, and more and more attorneys are opening solo practices or small partnerships, you need an advantage in order to stay competitive. That advantage may lie in the field of pro bono work.
Lowering Prices for the Public Good…and Your Own Good
Only about one percent of the U.S. population is considered to be truly wealthy, while 80 percent is considered lower middle class or poor. However, an average of 15 million civil claims are filed with the U.S. courts each year, with countless other viable claims going ignored. This means that even though they may not be able to afford it, more than five percent of the population struggles every year to file a claim.
These strugglers are potential clients that need your help but may not be able to afford your fees. So, what can you do? There are a few reasons why reducing your rates or supplementing full-fee cases with some low-fee cases can prove to be beneficial to both you and your clients. Client specific low-fee rates can…
- Help the community. By providing high-end legal advice to those who are financially strapped, you create community outreach and support. You’ll not only help your client get the justice he deserves, but you’ll also give hope to other victims who may have thought that their rights were worthless because they couldn’t afford to speak out.
- Build your reputation. By reducing your fees for the needy, you’ll not only secure a highly thought-of reputation in the community, but you’ll also attract more clients whose cases preciously went ignored by high-priced competitors.
- Strengthen your focus and determination. By concentrating more on the help your clients need rather than the revenue you can extract, you get to focus on the services you provide. When you direct your determination to help those in need, your skills will naturally improve and your clients will be more likely to return to you for help as well as recommend you to others.
- Make you feel good about yourself. No one should have their rights ignored due to their financial status. Helping those in need get the experienced help they deserve creates a feeling of righteousness that other cases may not. Helping someone secure his future will give you a great boost to your own self-esteem.
Pro or Con Bono?
Let us know how you feel about the benefits of selectively reducing your fees for financially struggling clients. Do you think it is a viable tactic? Would you try instigating a lower-fee program of your own? Leave a few comments in the section provided to share your opinions and concerns with us and your fellow attorney community.