Yesterday, I sat on a panel discussion for the small firm section of the Utah State Bar Association.

There were about 80 attorneys. It was a great discussion.

Sitting next to me was Judge David Hamilton from the second district. At one point, he talked about how attorneys file pleadings that are complete crap. They contained basic spelling errors, syntax errors, and they were poorly reasoned.

Hamilton was a good legal practitioner and didn’t turn in garbage to the courts, which is why he was so incredulous that this is happening so often.

When it was my turn to comment on the subject, I said: “charge more; write less.”

What did I mean by that?

What I meant was garbage pleadings are a function of money and time.

Attorneys charge too little for their services, which means they have too many clients, which means they don’t have enough time to devote to their clients, which means they don’t go think through problems and go through as many drafts as they should to create high-quality product for judges to read.

What’s the solution?

Charge more; write less.

If you charge clients more money, you’ll have fewer clients.

That seems scary until you remember each client is paying you more, so you’ll make the same (or more likely) more money overall.

You’ll have the time to serve your clients exceptionally well, which means you’ll have time to go through the 5–6 drafts that are necessary to create outstanding legal product.

You’ll have time to sit and actually think about arguments before you write them and make them in court.

You’ll have time to stand in front of a mirror and practice over and over what you’ll say during upcoming hearings.

So, you’ll charge more, have fewer clients, make the same or more money, and serve your clients better. Wins all around.

If you’ve raised your prices recently and keep getting the same number of clients, raise them again. At some point, you’ll start getting fewer clients, which is what you want.

Figure out your fee sweet spot so you can serve the clients you have exceptionally well.

Remember: charge more; write less.

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