Over at The Beasley Firm, Max Kennerly's Litigation & Trial Blog cautions lawyers to be efficient with their time. Why, you may ask, should you care how a lawyer spends his or her time? Because when you need legal services, you care that your attorney has the incentive to work efficiently, and as important, knows how to do it. As Max aptly describes it, “there are really only two types of business models for law firms: those which profit from efficiency and those which profit from inefficiency.”
Most of the biggest firms, and many others as well, bill by the hour and make their profits by the use of “leverage.” Leverage is a euphemism for “over staffing.”
Here are some of our thoughts from a few years ago on the same subject.
Only the biggest of big businesses can afford inefficient representation. Certainly smaller and medium sized businesses cannot. As Max points out, when legal bills to smaller business get too big, the usual result is that the lawyer does not get paid.
That is why, when you need legal help, you should look for a lawyer who is a clock-watcher. Not the kind of clock-watcher who watches the hands move so he can bill you for every last minute, but the kind who understands that he must work efficiently in order to best serve his clients, and thus himself.