One of the biggest barriers everyday people and small businesses face when trying to find a lawyer is they have no idea what it will cost and whether it is a good value for them. That is because most of the consumer legal market still revolves around the billable hour. The new version of the CBF Pricing Toolkit will help attorneys to profitably offer fixed, value-based pricing in a way that expands access to much needed legal services for a large segment of our community.
The billable hour is a barrier to accessing affordable legal services because it lacks transparency and predictability. The average legal consumer is on a budget and needs to understand what solution to their legal problem they can afford. The billable hour does not allow the consumer to make this determination.
At the same time, more lawyers are seeking to move away from the billable hour for a variety of reasons, including low collection rates, the inherent conflict of interest it creates with clients, and the negative side effects of living your life in six-minute increments. Understandably, however, lawyers need guidance on how to offer fixed fees based on value instead of time.
Enter the updated CBF Pricing Toolkit, which is a collaboration between the CBF and On Purpose Legal. The Pricing Toolkit 2.0 is designed to help lawyers profitably price based on value instead of time. It includes a 4-Step framework and other resources such as an updated fee arrangement matrix and sample engagement agreement clauses to help lawyers get started. The toolkit comes in two formats: a digital print version and an on-demand online course.
The first version of the Pricing Toolkit launched in 2016 and was developed because the CBF learned in the early stages of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) that there was a dearth of practice resources for lawyers serving the consumer market on how to price their services using fee arrangements other than the billable hour. Through our JEP attorneys and others, the CBF has learned a lot since 2016, and the Pricing Toolkit 2.0 reflects those learnings and will give many more lawyers the opportunity to expand access while improving their practice experience.