Why Are Lawyers So Expensive?
1. Partially Because They Can Be.
The legal industry is full of restrictive on-ramps. Law degrees, bar exams, the need to take regular continuing education, maintain insurance, obtain law licenses, and pay license fees all restrict access to the practice of law. This means there's limited competition. But it also makes the practice expensive to get into. It means that very few of us can do it, and that it's expensive to practice.
There will always be a minimum bar to speak to an actual attorney, and unlike re-hanging a door or replacing a window, you can't hire someone who is knowledgeable but not licensed, because the practice of law is limited to those who are licensed. So, there are a limited number of providers.
Trump v. Vance Over Drinks.
“It's always great when your attorney offers you a beverage or snack every time you come to visit, but when they do that, someone pays for that hospitality."
2. Partially Because It's Expensive.
Starting the practice of law costs hundreds of thousands of dollars these days, and then there are other on-going expenses on top of that. But, you should figure out what expenses you want to pay. Everyone has to pay for their legal research subscription service. Everyone has to pay for malpractice coverage. Everyone has to pay their license fee and pay for their Continuing Legal Education.
But, not everyone has to pay for a fancy billboard on the side of the highway. And we don't all pay for a library of books we never look at. How much money do you want to be paying for the rent in your attorney's financial district corporate offices? It's always great when your attorney offers you a beverage or snack every time you come to visit, but when they do that, someone pays for that hospitality.
I've worked in offices where we got regular lunches and the kitchen always had coffee, and I worked in offices where we got nothing. I realized that when I opened an office and I wanted to do things differently, I could reduce overhead by eliminating the cost of an office entirely. If you want a cup of coffee, we can meet at the cafe of your choosing, and I'll buy the first round. But, doing so can save you having to pay for my rent.
You're never going to get an unexperienced associate billing the same hourly that I do at my firm. That's not how I work. You'll also never be overbilled or billed four figures an hour at my firm, because that's not my goal. I want to do good work for a rate you can afford, and I want to find a way to do that.
Because that's what you deserve.