In order to get the best value from lawyers practicing in the areas of business, tax, real estate and estate planning law, you should use them wisely.
Because much of what we earn is measured by an hourly rate, the more efficiently a matter is handled, the more valuable our services. We are organized and we will be efficient in handling your legal needs. If you are organized and efficient in dealing with us, then your matter will be handled much more economically, whether it involves document preparation or simply good legal advice. With that in mind, here are some tips for getting the best value for your legal expenses.
Organize your thoughts and documents before you telephone or come in for an office visit.
While there is always enough time for an exchange of pleasantries, brief discussions of personal matters, and especially a good joke, an organized presentation of your thoughts and documents will reduce the amount of time we will need to identify both the service you need and your expectations. Although our advice may alter your plans, we first need to know from you, in your own words, what you want to accomplish.
Give us accurate and complete information.
The areas in which we practice are highly technical; the information we get from you must be accurate to guarantee you the best possible work product. The information should also be as complete as possible; if it is supplied to us in a piecemeal fashion, a time-consuming, inefficient process will result.
Supply us with all needed mailing addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers.
Our time is much more efficiently spent if we can quickly reach you, your other advisors or anyone else whom you think we may need to contact.
If you think a document or piece of information may be relevant to your matter, bring it in or let us know about it.
We are trained to recognize the relevance of documents or information to the resolution of a legal matter. If in doubt, let us know about it. We discard irrelevant information very quickly, so you’re really not wasting time by bringing it to our attention.
Respond quickly to our letters or phone calls. Review drafts of documents promptly.
Project delays are sometimes unavoidable. However, when the period spent on a project drags out because of client inactivity, we spend unproductive time refreshing our memories about both the details of the project and the client’s objectives. Write down our oral requests for information and follow up quickly. Review documents while things are still fresh in your mind, and get back to us promptly with your comments.
Keep in touch.
Keep us up to date with current information or any changes in your situation that may alter your original goals or objectives. The more accurate our picture of your current situation, the more valuable our services will be, no matter what we are doing for you.
Richard W. Miller is a partner in Cosgrave’s Business Practice Group and spends most of his time in the firm’s Bend office. Rich practices in the areas of business, real estate, and estate and trust planning and administration, and has a broad knowledge of taxation affecting all of these areas. Rich can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.