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Let's Get Real

Tonight I'm going to write about billable hourly rates.  This is the real world business of family law and it's impact on you couldn't be greater.

The other day, one of our attorneys was consulting with a potential client who was considering retaining us.  The consulting attorney bills at $275.00 per hour. The potential client asked if we would match a competitor attorney's billable hourly rate at $225.00 per hour.  The potential client surmised that he would save $50 per hour if he hired the other attorney.

"How many years experience does the other attorney have," our attorney asked. "Three years," the potential client answered.  Our attorney has 12 and only bills $50.00 more per hour. That is an incredible deal, right there.

"How many other attorneys does work with," our attorney continued. "He has himself and a partner," the potential client allowed.  Our firm has nine attorneys and counting.

"Tell me about his support staff," our attorney questioned.  "He has a secretary most of the time," the potential client admitted.  We have over 20 people operating in support of our attorneys.

So just on the face of it, as laid out here, we were a much better investment than that little firm that the potential client was considering.

But wait, there's more to this story.  

The consulting attorney bills at $275.  But he is at the upper end of our hourly rate.  When you consider all the billable rates in the firm, our firm bills out an average of less than $200.00 per hour.  When you consider that this includes an attorney with 23 years and 11 months experience who has argued and won a unanimous decision before the Supreme Court of the United States of America (me, and I still get a kick out of thinking about it), an attorney with 16 years experience, an attorney with 12 years experience, an attorney with seven years experience and five other attorneys to boot and you consider that our paralegals collectively have over 30 years experience, our hourly rate is incredible and certainly unmatched by any firm in Atlanta, almost certainly by any firm in all of Georgia.

But wait, we're not done!  Now consider that our paralegals handle a lot of the work that needs to be done on the average family law matter and you can see how a family's hard earned dollar goes much farther under our model of practice.

All in all, I really enjoy it when potential clients trully compare us to our competitors.

Oh, and that potential client? He retained.

Michael Manely

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