Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm still alive! A thought on lawyers racing to the bottom

I know I haven't posted in three months.  I even write a farewell post, but decided not to put it up in case I changed my mind so I would then not look like a schmuck or the blogging equivalent of a pinch-drunk boxer coming back for more punishment.  I have been concentrating on work and other things in my personal life.  As to the former, you can guess what that is about.  As to the latter, well, I am not prepared to discuss that except to say it is all good and hopefully will be better as time goes on.  If things go the way I want I will eventually tell you about it.

A couple of weeks ago one of my old bosses called with about the highest compliment one professional can pay another: a referral.  It was for a small deal that his firm could not handle economically but that I could.  After quoting a rate that I thought was fair -- I later realized that it was identical to the rate on my proprietary formula that I have for pricing flat fees -- we adjusted it and sent it on to the prospect.  About an hour later I found out I wasn't getting the work, because someone else agreed to do it for less than a third of what I thought was a fair and reasonable price to do a good job.

I'm not, by the way, trying to slam the firm that eventually got the assignment, although some might say that you get what you pay for.  Efficiencies and all exist, and perhaps this firm has a way to do good work at a cheap rate, and if so I commend them.  Nor do I have sour grapes about the work.  I am right now about as busy as I want to be.

As for me, I am not willing to go in that direction.  When you hire me you hire exactly that: me.  And I think I am pretty good at my job, if I do say so myself.  I'm not farming the work off to paraprofessionals, good that they may be in many instances.  Call me a control freak, or just someone that does not want to deal with employees. day out.  And I don't take shortcuts.  So if to survive in this "profession" -- which unfortunately is becoming less one by the day sometimes -- I have to take those shortcuts, then I will find another way to make a living.  Somehow I do not see that happening any time soon, although you never know.

I will have another post up shortly.


The Peck Law said...

Enjoyed the Article! Though I still have a paralegal, I use him primarily for the remaining residential work that still comes my way. For commercial work, his job is extremely limited...and I like it that way. I feel a bit sore sometimes too when I lose good work to a "discounter" who certainly can't be doing the work the job requires, but as you probably have found as well, these are clients we probably didn't want in the first place.