How we keep our rates low
13+ years experience as a lawyer has taught me how to get the fundamentals right.
Although legal disputes are complex, fundamentally what lawyers do is write documents, plus some speaking (either public-speaking in Court or private-speaking in mediations / meetings).
Getting the fundamentals right requires clarity of thought about the tasks-at-hand.
- First, being able to write well.
- Second, calling upon skills and knowledge to make that writing quality-writing and persuasive.
- Third – after these are achieved – doing it fast.
Being fast means cost-savings to clients, because less time is spent.
Slow lawyers, sitting at their desks typing slowly, is a fact-of-life in our modern legal system. (People would be shocked to know how much slow-typing feeds into massive legal bills.)
Dictation, instead of typing, is what makes for fast lawyers.
My methods are:
- Don't type - dictate.
- Don't incur the costs of typists to type the dictation.
- Get physically away from the computer-screen, so you can quickly scan/look at documents whilst dictating.
We use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to produce our written work.
This is done by using dictaphones to create an audio-file, that is processed by Dragon automatically.
It is then checked for accuracy by a secretary, before being printed-out for us to:
- do any additional drafting,
These fundamentals have helped us keep our hourly rates low compared to most other lawyers.
Many other lawyers around the world are also doing this - but the take-up is slow.