The Modern Legal Practice: Why You CAN Afford an Attorney

On May 11, 2018, I attended a seminar on Modern Legal Representation.

The AMAZING news is that Andersen Law PC has been practicing these techniques from the day we opened our doors, and I used many of these practices for years before opening the firm.  A few attorneys are trying these techniques of late. Few if any have been doing all of them as long and as consistently as I have.

I think we have modern representation down to a science and know how to make it work for our clients at Andersen Law PC. After years of doing this type of practice, what seems new and different to other attorneys is actually familiar, routine and downright comfortable for us.  We know what works, what does not work, and how to use modern representation techniques to best benefit you. For unbundled representation and some of the types of representation below, the retainer is a lot smaller than you would think.

Here are some aspects of our firm that can save you thousands of dollars as opposed to those traditional firms with huge retainers:

Ghost writing: We can write pleadings for you and sign our name. Just have us do this limited piece and handle the rest of the case yourself. Even more affordable: Write the first draft and have us revise it. I can get you started with a free consult.

Limited scope /Unbundled Legal Services: We can negotiate, advise, go to mediation and even go to court with you paying as you go. This can keep the price down. We will work together as a team and can change the scope of our role as you need it. You have the reins and we will not do anything unless you authorize it. I am trained as part of a group of attorneys training others to do this practice, have written law articles on unbundled services, participated in many trainings in the area, and advised court personnel on how to encourage other attorneys to try it.

Coaching: We can advise you and you do the court piece yourself. We will walk through the case and tell you what to do.

Flat Fee: You know the whole fee in advance. This is especially great for a cohabitation agreement, prenuptial agreement, post-nuptial agreement, one-time court appearance like a protection order, will, trust, and estate planning.

Mediation: We can act as mediator or go to mediation on your behalf. When families are involved, settling the case enables everyone to walk away with something as opposed to a trial where you may find yourself getting adversarial, attacking each other, running up fees, poisoning the relationship going forward and ending up with whatever the rushed judge briefly hearing the case decides, often on the spot.

Texting and Cell Phone: We are not the standoffish attorneys of old — sitting behind an enormous dusty desk and peering at you over our glasses with a condescending speech, requiring a formal letter and formal appointment when all you want is a quick answer. You can text me, call my cell, talk over the weekend, keep in contact.

Free Consults: Everyone gets a free consult by phone to get you in the right direction. Have a pen and paper or your computer ready as I will give you homework and a “to do” list right away so you can get started moving your case along.

Video Conferencing: Not only have I done videoconferencing with clients for years, but I have participated in an international lecture on this service, written legal articles on it, helped establish a program for free videoconferencing in our libraries, obtained a grant for this program, and presented a report on videoconferencing to Colorado courts. If you do not want to travel to my office, hop on a videoconference with me by phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. You will find it is almost the same as in person.

Collaboration: Are you a good writer? Write your first draft or even a draft email and I will revise it. Do you like printing and compiling documents? Do it yourself with my coaching instead of paying us to do it. Want to negotiate directly yourself? Go at it with my coaching from behind the scenes. You can save a lot of money by doing a lot of this yourself, and we are here to show you how.

Unbundled Court Appearances: While a lot of attorneys will do unbundled representation, few will actually go to court on an unbundled case. We do though. As a matter of fact, I immediately did this right away once the Supreme Court of Colorado amended the rules to authorize this practice.

Save the Date: I will keep a court date reserved for you while you save up your money to pay us to appear for you.  The earlier you get us on board, the better prepared and more helpful we can be. It helps a lot if the court and opposing counsel know we plan to enter on the case and are not blindsided, and it gives us a chance to clear dates. But if you need to wait until four weeks before hearing to pay and retain us, we can often do this without delaying the case.

Financing Your Case with Credit: We accept credit cards and are willing to absorb the fees so that you can finance our services and pay for them over time.

Regular Billing and Check-Ins: We are transparent and regular with our bills to you. Unlike most attorneys, we bill half our clients every week. This allows you to see what you owe us in detail and, ideally, to keep tabs on your fees. If the bills get too high on a full-service case, sometimes you can switch to unbundled. If your unbundled case heats up, you can switch to full service. We are flexible.  And you can call me any time to get a bill generated for your review. This keeps you up to speed with your case. You also have access to a portal to review your detailed billing case notes.

Low Overhead Office Practices: I recently had my opposing counsel say they cannot understand how we manage to keep our bills so much lower than theirs. One reason is that we keep our overhead minimal with limited office space, modern technology and case management tools, contract staff and efficient practices. Traditional firms are afraid of change and late adopters of these practices. By being ahead of the curve, we can do the same work as them — I think often better than them — with a lower fee.

Volunteering:  I am on the Access to Justice Committee and have done hundreds of consults for low-income clients in courts, by phone, at agencies, and by phone and video. This puts our office in touch with the needs of lower income clients and even high-income clients who do not want to spend their life savings on attorneys. I am in touch with the general populace from the moneyed and elite to the middle class and modest means to the low-income and impoverished.  These groups have completely different needs in many ways. But all have the same need to get quality, modern representation for a reasonable fee. We do this and continue to strive every year to do it better.

Modern representation affords you all the protection of traditional representation with lower fees and more control.  Call me at the office at 720-922-3880 or on my cell at 303-808-4794 for more information about how these practices can work for you.