LPM: How did you come by your understanding that a better way to practice law was to stop flogging hours?
MH: If necessity is the mother of invention, my inability to keep great timesheets was at least one of the motivating factors in my looking for a different economic model for my practice.
I also realized that I could never recoup any investment I made in becoming a more efficient lawyer unless I raised my rate or charged for the work I did differently.
Raising my rate was out of the question because as a young lawyer in a small community, my hourly rate was in essence capped by the amounts the other lawyers were charging in my town. Instead, I decided that if I were able to charge a flat fee for the work I did, then any benefit of becoming more efficient at delivering it had a direct impact on my bottom line.
Another unexpected benefit was that I could charge more for the work and that clients—happy to know the price of the work up front—were more eager to pay.