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, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."