Your attorney’s fancy office could cost you
I like to go to other attorney’s offices and compare them to mine, especially the big firms. As the owner of my own firm, I know where every cent goes. So, when I’m at someone else’s office, I like to add up the cost of setting up and running that office. Sometimes, I’m blown away by how fancy and exotic these offices are. I also don’t understand the point. Maybe if you are in a big city and you have major corporations as clients, you need to impress them, but for the average client, does it really matter? My office is nice and modern but fancy? Hardly. I also don’t drive a fancy card. Its not that I don’t have the money, its just that I don’t see the point.
Lets say I spend $100,000 on a really fancy office space. Does that make me a better attorney? Does a jury, a judge or the other attorney care? Will they even know? Not at all. So, why should you care what your attorney does with their money? In my opinion, this should be a major issue because you are paying for your attorney’s overhead. As attorneys, we do not have products to sell; only time. The more overhead we have, the more time we have to bill. When you run out of time to sell, you sell your time for more money. In other words, you raise your hourly rates.
My costs are razor thin. I run a very efficient office and I have 8 office locations in New Jersey. However, I have hunted for value as if my life depends on it. As a result, of keeping my costs low, I probably have better margins than almost any other attorney. Thus, I can also keep my hourly rates low. In turn, I can be more accessible to other people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford me if my rate was $100 more per hour. So, when you go to an attorney’s office and you are impressed by all the glitzy (and unnecessary) furniture and accessories, keep in mind that you paid for it!