My primary office is in Austin, although I do work all over Texas, including Houston, Dallas and San Antonio (as an aside, since I am licensed in Delaware, the epicenter of US corporate law, I have clients all over the country, although mostly in Texas). One of the most common searches on the Internet for lawyers is “affordable business lawyer.” In the Texas markets, that holds true – many people search for affordable business attorneys. I know that because I see their searches in Google.
“Affordable” means different things to different people, although I expect all of my clients to be concerned somewhat about their budget. Business is competitive and it can be challenging and you need to use your dollars wisely to accomplish your business goals. And, a lot of corporate legal work doesn’t directly drive sales. Sure, a commercial lease, non-disclosure agreement, independent contractor agreement or supply or services agreement are necessary to operate, but clients often look at them as purely costs. So, they are understandably careful about what they spend getting that work done.
So, let’s get right to it. Here is my position on your legal budget. We will talk about it right up front. I do a lot on a flat fee basis. The flat fee is meant to share risk and to help us figure out the right budget for your work. If you’re buying a company for $100,000, you will (or should, at least) spend less money on legal services than if you are buying a company for $10 million. A flat fee is very useful for helping us figure out the right amount for you to spend. Sometimes, it’s not possible to work on anything but an hourly rate basis (e.g., if there is a lot of negotiation involved and it’s tough to estimate the total time I will spend on your work), although it still helps to think about and I always give you an estimate about the total cost.
I encourage you to search for a lawyer with something other than price as the primary driver. As they say, “nothing is more expensive than a cheap lawyer.” However, I get it – the cost of a lawyer matters when you’re selecting one. I currently bill at $370/hour. When I work on a flat fee or if a project ends us up taking a lot more time than either you or I ever expected, I often end up discounting my rate. Not always, but frequently.
Still, if that base hourly rate sounds super high to you, I understand. That means I’m probably not the right lawyer for you. That hourly rate is 50% of where I would bill if I went back to a big law firm, so I view it as a tremendous value. So do many of my clients. But, it’s not my decision. It’s yours and I expect that the cost of a business lawyer will be one of many criteria you use to find the right trusted business lawyer for your company. Just know that I will never hesitate to talk money with you and help you make smart decisions with your legal budget. It’s your money and I will never reach into your wallet to take it. These are your decisions and I am here to help you make them.
Hopefully, that’s enough information to allow you to determine if you think I am an affordable Texas business lawyer.