How much do you cost? What is your rate? 

The hourly rate has been the standard for billing legal services for decades. However, there is a trend in the legal industry to provide flat fees. A flat fee is one fixed rate for a specific service. ALH law utilizes flat fee billing as much as possible for our clients. One thing we notice is confusion. We quote a price – say $500 for a basic estate plan. The prospective client then asks, “what is your hourly rate?” 

This question is perplexing – our hourly rate is irrelevant when we offer a flat fee service since clients will not be charged any fee above and beyond the flat fee we quoted. We had an internal discussion as a team about this. This is when we realized so few things are actually the price advertised – your hair stylist might be $65 for a cut, but then there is an expected tip; the plumber you called for a backup charges $100 “trip fee” and then a rate for the work; the oil change on your car is $95 plus tax. 

At ALH when we quote a flat fee, the cost to our client is what we quoted unless there is a government filing fee (though we usually include those too)! We work hard to be transparent in our pricing, so our clients know exactly what they are paying before signing the retainer agreement! 

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