When a law firm agrees to handle a matter for a flat fee, it must find a way to meet the client’s needs within that fixed budget. Assuming the client is satisfied, the less a firm spends, the more money it will make. But, as the CFO of a firm with more than 1,500 lawyers explained in a survey I conducted recently on alternative fees, most lawyers have worked their entire careers under the billable hour model, in which “the more hours that got charged, the more money [they] made. And so they’ve never really had to manage [budgets]“.
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