Do Lawyers Deserve To Earn More Income?
Do lawyers earn good money? There are many stereotypes about lawyers. Some are true, and some are false. It is true that many lawyers do a poor job at communication. It is untrue that many lawyers are earning massive incomes and taking advantage of clients.
I have put together a list of things people need to know about lawyers.
Going To Court Is Complicated And Takes More Than A Few Minutes
Many people think that dealing with their legal issues in court is easy. In the movies, the lawyer finds some key evidence at the last minute, right before the judgment. The lawyer then cross-examines someone on the stand. The judge then instantly awards the lawyer’s client the judgment. The evidence is so strong that for some reason, the opposing counsel doesn’t even get a chance to respond. Neither the judge nor the opposing party gets a chance to review the evidence either.
My favorite is when the lawyer himself says that his client is free to go. The sheriff then comes in and lets their client go. The judge says nothing.
All of this takes no more than five minutes to win the trial. Amazing! Therefore, going to court should only cost around $50 right?
See the video below from “Liar Liar” as a key example. This sort of Hollywood scene makes people think that winning is easy. It doesn’t show the pleadings or the discovery. It doesn’t show any chamber applications to get the proper discovery. Further, it doesn’t show any case conferences required to get to trial. Basically, two years of litigation and $100,000 in legal costs is missing. But that wouldn’t make for a good movie.
Instead, many Hollywood scenes show divorces, criminal cases, or lawsuits skip right to the closing arguments. Yes, the judgment is the most exciting part, but it takes a lot of time to get there.
Many Lawyers Do Not Earn Much Money
Before turning Clearway Law into an online marketplace for legal services, it was a law firm. When I first entered the legal industry, I assumed that lawyers were rich. More for a few years as a junior lawyer, and be a slave. Then become a rainmaker and make tons of money. Many lawyers have nice offices, so it made sense that they were bringing in the cash.
I didn’t think that many lawyers could only afford that office for a few months if their revenue taps got turned off.
I once saw that lawyer needed a $300 advance to pay for their car repairs. This was a lawyer that if you saw his picture online, you would think they were a rainmaker. I was shocked and it made me question lawyer stereotypes. Something didn’t add up.
Many lawyers are terrified of innovation. They feel that anytime they try to do something different, the Law Society or State Bar is going to take their license away. So instead, they play it safe and don’t try anything new. Nothing changes and clients do not get an improved experience. Other industries continue to innovate, and the legal industry stays the same.
Playing it safe does not protect lawyer’s reputations. The general public still thinks poorly of lawyers in general.
Lawyers need to take risks.
It’s Very Rare That Lawyers Steal Money
Many lawyers do a terrible job at communicating. Other times, they will drop a client right before going to court if they believe there is a conflict issue. These sorts of things hurt their clients and make people hate lawyers.
If there is one thing that lawyers truly care about, it’s their trust accounts. If lawyers misplace just one dollar in their trust accounts, they might lose their law license. The lawyer’s regulator checks their trust accounts from time to time. Everything needs to be perfect.
So while there are many true negative stereotypes about lawyers, stealing money isn’t one of them. Keep in mind getting a bill that you don’t like isn’t stealing. When a lawyer is charging you $400/hour, if they work 10 hours, expect a charge of $4000 + tax +dispursements.
You Need To Hire The Best Lawyer
If you find a great lawyer, chances are they will be worth all the money you spend. Could you build your own house if you wanted to? You probably could. But you would have to take a year off work. If you have a complicated legal issue that goes to court, it’s going to be a lot of work. Are you going to take three weeks off work for a trial?
If you lose your case, you will likely have to pay the other side’s legal costs. There will also be lots of court fees and other fees. If you have a legal issue, get ready to open your wallet. The longer you wait, the more complicated things might become. If things get complicated, expect to spend more.
Like the picture below, it can be worth it to spend a lot of money on a lawyer. Just make sure it’s a good lawyer.
What Lawyers Need To Do
They need to focus on their clients and make sure they earn good incomes. Going to law school is hard. Passing the bar exam takes a lot of work. Also, articling for many people is not easy. Once you have jumped through all the hoops and become a lawyer, you deserve to be able to earn a decent income. I would define a decent income as over $100,000 per year. Not every lawyer will earn over a million dollars per year.
But when lawyers are earning $40,000/year, something is wrong.
Do lawyers earn good money? Not really, but they should! Don’t let your fear of innovation push you into poverty.
In conclusion, I don’t want to see lawyers live paycheck to paycheck. It’s not right. See below for a good video on legal innovation. If you want to learn more about how ClearWay Law helps lawyers build their practices, click the link: Marketing For Lawyers
Author: Alistair Vigier