Legal affairs can influence nearly every aspect of our lives. Whether we’re looking to protect our personal assets or business brand, getting proper legal advice is critical. Even so, seeking legal counsel is often something we delay – usually due to perception that attorneys are expensive to hire.
However, delaying legal counsel may pose a big risk to your personal finances, especially when it comes to properly planning the establishment of your business or managing your estate.
A reactive approach to legal issues is the norm for most, but more people are realizing the importance of taking a proactive approach of addressing legal issues before they arise. People typically hire lawyers to “rescue” them after a legal matter arises instead of hiring them to prevent a legal issue from forming.
It may be hard to believe, but lawyers get “expensive” when they must step in to unravel a situation instead of preventing it from happening in the first place.
For example, it’s financially wise to hire a business attorney to properly help you draft contracts and employee handbooks before you hire anyone rather than later discovering you didn’t meet employment regulations and get slapped with fines and penalties. Worst yet, business owners may get sued by their employees or contractors. That’s when hiring an attorney gets expensive! They have to come in and “undo” your wrong-doing and correct your problem.
Prevention is typically cheaper than correction.
With that, how can we afford to pay attorneys?
Shifting from the traditional hourly consulting model, the legal industry too is starting to embrace the form of subscription-based services.
Kim Bennett, JD, founder of K Bennett Law, aims to provide value when working with clients who are intentional about building their brand and explains that traditional engagement options may not be suitable for every client or situation.
“The legal industry’s traditional hourly billing model doesn’t always support efficiency or sustainability,” says Bennett, who is leading the push toward subscription legal services to better serve clients through her firm and coaching program for female lawyers at The Modern Legal Collective. “Growth-focused businesses gain the best value from lawyers when they invest in proactive legal services to solve business problems and to support revenue-generating business decisions.”
Also, becoming more aware of your legal responsibilities as a consumer, employee, and employer can help with lowering legal expenses. If you’ve never hired an attorney before, it may be difficult – and overwhelming – to determine whether you’re paying too much for specific services. Kim offers free courses for small business owners to ask questions and become more aware of their legal obligations. Then, if they need on-going legal counsel for their business, she offers a monthly, no hassle flat fee membership to subscribe.
Then there are marketing companies like LegalShield which have built a network of law firms across the U.S. and Canada to offer subscribers access to a variety of legal services through those firms. Based on the subscribers need, they are matched with a law firm determined by location or area of law to handle the matter. Monthly plans start at $24.95 for individuals and $39 for small businesses.
Bennett, who believes that subscription-based legal services can greatly enhance the client experience and lead to stronger relationships, hopes this trend continues to grow. “Everyone has unique legal needs and the subscription can be designed to work for the client,” says Bennett.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
As with most things in life, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing legal matters. Subscription-based services offer convenience and personalization, both of which are improving client experiences across all industries and making legal fees more predictable. As new trends shape the legal landscape, perhaps more people will be motivated to take a proactive approach to protecting what matters most.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a promoted post. Capital Benchmark Partners, LLC (“CBP”) is not compensated for mentioning or recommending any third-party vendors or other organizations. If they are mentioned, it is strictly based off CBP’s independent research.