Education Is Powerful

Most lawyers have no idea about educating the public, especially for free! By this I mean that they should not only present themselves as authorities on specific given subjects, but also supply free information on a consistent basis.What they fail to realise is that most people don’t want to use a lawyer. A lawyer is a distressed purchase. You only really need one when there is a problem.The issue with most firms is that they set themselves up as guardians of legal information. It’s almost as if the information itself is some kind of sacrosanct grail that only the few will have access to; and to get access you have to pay… by the hour!How they get away with that itself is nothing short of a scandal. I mean, let’s just look at the way most lawyers charge their clients. The client has a problem that they want the lawyer to solve. The lawyer sets about his task and after a time (usually many months) he sends a bill to the client.Imagine you wanted to add an extension to your house. You call up a builder and he tells you that he can build the extension, but he doesn’t know how much it will cost because he uses a variety of different people at a variety of different hourly rates and he has no idea how much it will be until they are all finished. After all a plumber is £50 an hour an electrician £70 a labourer £25 and so on. No one in their right mind would go ahead on that basis.It’s the same if you decided to fly from New York to London and the airline said they would charge you by the minute when you landed. You just wouldn’t agree to that. but that’s what most law firms do… and they get away with it! OK, they may frighten you with the size of the bill when they eventually present it but then they will write down some of the costs if you complain loudly enough. What way is that to run a business?No, the firms that succeed quickly learn to do the opposite of what most firms do. They charge fixed fees that tie in with a monthly fee the client can afford and they include free, unlimited phone calls. They produce all kinds of information in newsletters, booklets and even e-books or podcasts using catchy titles such as: “How to Sell Your Property in a Recession”, “Twenty legal situations where you don’t need a lawyer”, “How to have a Happy Divorce and keep the House” and they give these away or make them available for free download from their website.The same firms also take a proactive approach by speaking at all kinds of engagements for free. They offer free legal “clinics” to big company employees where they offer to help them solve basic legal problems and help them to avoid expensive legal wrangles.This proactive, positive approach means that when a genuine legal challenge arises the people that you have helped for free will want to retain you.

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