This is the impression some clients leave. That we are all rich. That their problems are not similiar to ours. That we have no mortgages, kids to raise, repairs to make on things, medical expenses, college tuition. We lawyers have none of these expenses, and to boot, should all operate as zero-interest banks.
It is those $100, $200, $300, $400 an hour rates, or the $5,000 requested as a retainer that leads clients to believe we are awash in cash. They discount the salary of the assistant, receptionist, the rent, telephone, and all the other things that go into running an office.
They express their issues in a way that leads you to want to say "me too," but you won't.
There are two types of lawyers, those that are needed for a problem, and those that are hired to prevent problems. No one wakes up in the morning and says "I think I'll hire a criminal defense lawyer." Other lawyers are hired when the client gets around to it, like a estate planning lawyer when a will is needed.
Hiring the "I've got a problem" lawyer never comes at a convenient time. We "I've got a problem" lawyers understand that. Understand though, that most lawyers, are not "rich," and it is not the lawyer's responsibility to finance your life while trying to help you. The "you don't understand" line is tired and old. The "but I have to pay my kid's tuition" line doesn't go that far either.
Want a loan? Use a credit card, borrow from family. Don't, borrow from me or make me feel like I should loan you the fee for months because "you" have expenses.
All lawyers are rich, in your mind.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com