The question of whether legal fees are too expensive is provocative and controversial especially when raised by a lawyer. Nevertheless, it’s a fair question and one that lawyers should raise. Before going further, keep in mind these are my opinions. Undoubtedly, other lawyers will have different views. That’s the American way. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
That said here’s my opinion: I believe legal fees are too expensive in many instances. For this reason, my heart pities the middle-class person who’s charged with a felony. His ability to pay exorbitant legal fees may determine whether he becomes a convicted felon and loses significant rights. Similarly, the middle-class person who is facing a lengthy divorce may lose her children, property and so on if she cannot pay a good lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour. These possibilities are as unfair as a sick person dying because she cannot afford health care. Obviously, my primary concern is for the middle-class since they usually cannot afford a high-dollar lawyer, are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer due to indigence, and their insurance plans usually don’t cover legal fees.
High Legal Fees Justified?
Many of my colleagues argue they are not the blame for this unjust system? They argue the following challenges and risks of practicing law justify their expensive fees: (1) long hours; (2) stressful work; (3) complexity of practicing law; (4) student loans; (5) rising overhead; (6) years of education; and (7) costs and risks of legal malpractice. I agree with my colleagues, to an extent. We lawyers, as other professions, must make a profit or risk going out of business. That’s capitalism at work.
Glut of Lawyers
Nevertheless, there are some strong market forces and social realities that are confronting the legal profession. Here’s one. Law schools, motivated by profits no less, have saturated the country with lawyers. Take the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area for instance. The Texas legislature approved the opening of a new law school in Dallas although the area has plenty of lawyers and two law schools. The only bright side of having a third law school here is the possibility of DFW lawyers reducing their fees to become competitive.
Reduced Legal Fees
Here at the Corbett Law Firm, we are not waiting for the market to force us to implement changes. We have decided to implement two changes immediately. First, we plan to cut overhead. Second, the cost cutting changes will enable us to decrease our legal fees on certain types of cases by 10-25% depending on the circumstances. In essence, we will be more affordable and positioned to beat our colleagues’ prices.
These changes are the compassionate, smart, and right thing to do. For more information, call us at 214-643-6199.