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The Economics of Unbundling Your Estate Practice: Taking a Close Look at the Profitability of Flexible “Pay-As-You-Go” Fee Structures

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Episode 44: The Economics of Unbundling Your Estate Practice: Taking a Close Look at the Profitability of Flexible “Pay-As-You-Go” Fee Structures

Ross Tew is an estate attorney out of Dallas/Ft Worth, TX who believes in being flexible and taking a problem solving approach to the way he works for his clients. Today, Ross joins us to share the creative ways he works with clients. He describes how he breaks cases up into billable segments and allows clients to pay-as-they-go. He will also let clients in certain cases pay his fees out of the settlement of the estate. Let’s take a close look at how this degree of flexibility has improved the profitability of his practice. The results, as you will hear, are astounding.

To read a complete transcript of this interview, click here

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Ross became interested in estate and property work
  • His philosophy of flexibility and willingness to find creative ways to serve his clients, and how this shows up in his practice
  • Why Ross has chosen to stop accepting credit card payments
  • His reasons for offering the majority of his services as a flat fee and why his clients appreciate that
  • How Ross is able to get his fees paid from the settlement of an estate in certain cases which allows him to limit the upfront cost of his services for his clients
  • How he manages cash flow from smaller cases which enables him to be patient about collecting fees that aren’t paid out until the estate is settled
  • Ross’s thoughts about the access to justice problem in this country, and why he believes it’s important for attorneys to find creative ways to work with clients within their budget
  • How being a solo practitioner enables him to take a client-centered, problem solving approach
  • The ways in which Ross can break up his case into specific billable segments so he doesn’t have to require clients to pay a large retainer up front
  • Examples of cases where he can offer “pay-as-you-go” options, and the types of separate billable segments he creates for some clients
  • Why so many lawyers don’t offer these unbundled and flexible payment options
  • The approximate numbers of additional clients he has been able to take on because of the flexible payment options he offers, and how this impacts the overall profitability of his practice
  • His feelings about being able to offer services to so many orphans and widows that would otherwise be unable to obtain the legal help they need at very emotional times in their lives
  • A broad vision for how just a few lawyers who share actual numbers on their profitability from unbundled legal services will gradually turn the tide on the number of attorneys introducing these options in their practice, and the impact this has on access to justice nationwide
  • And much more...

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