What are you paying for when you hire an Oklahoma attorney?

When I buy a computer, a cell phone or even a car, I know the product and I understand what I am paying for.  I turn over X dollars and the seller gives me X product.  It turns out that with legal services when you hire an attorney, it is not so easy to define what the bargain is.

If it is estate planning, such as a Will or a Trust, I can describe the bargain as completing the documents.  However, when it is any type of consulting, litigation or business matters, the bargain is a bit more elusive.  So, I will answer the question from my perspective:  What are you getting when you bargain with me for legal services?

1.  You are getting my time.  I agree to spend time working on the objectives to which we agree.  It may be email, at my office, on the telephone or even at the client’s office.  But I provide the most valuable thing I have which is my time.

2.  You are getting my attention.  I focus whatever time and attention are necessary squarely on the objectives to which we have agreed.

3.  You are getting my experience.  I freely share anything I have learned from doing the similar things before.

4.  You are getting my documents.  I provide the platform for completing tasks which often required using the right document, specifically tailored for the situation.

5.  You are getting my ideas.  I share everything I can think of to accomplish the objectives to which we agree.

6.  You are getting someone else to be the primary worrier about the matter.  I shoulder the worry so you can choose not to.  This is optional for the client, you are still allowed to worry.

7.  You are getting someone to vent to.  I actively listen to clients share their frustrations about cases and the legal system.  Often, I completely agree, really, not just lip-service, I feel their pain and wish I could do more help.

Is this consistent with what you are expecting to get when you hire an attorney?


Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Cazes Roberts, PLLC in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with wife Amy and my two children, Sam (17) and David (9). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."