Are you paid enough for the risks you take in your law practice?


“The choice isn’t between success and failure; its between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.” — Keith Ferrazzi

Every day you make decisions in your law practice. You’re usually right but sometimes you make a mistake. It’s okay because when you make a mistake, you can usually fix it. If you can’t fix it and your client suffers a detriment, you have insurance.

Your clients pay you to make decisions. It’s what you do. It’s what you get paid for. Every time you make a decision, however, you take a risk. But are you being compensated for those risks?

In business, the bigger the risk, the bigger the potential reward. When you are the principal, your fortunes rise or fall on the outcome. As advisors, however, we are paid by the hour or the case or the work product. Other than contingency fees, our compensation is almost never commensurate with the risks.

You prepare a “simple” will. You get paid a few hundred dollars. But what if the client needed something different? What if you leave something out? Hundreds of thousands of dollars could be are at stake, but you are paid a few hundred dollars.

It seems to me we should be paid according to the risks we take in our work. Our insurance carriers are. Our business clients are. But we are not and we probably never will be. We can’t charge thousands of dollars for a simple will.

But while we probably won’t get paid more for taking risks in our legal work, we can get paid more for taking risks in our marketing. Ironically, these are risks most attorneys avoid.

If you want to reap bigger rewards in marketing your services, you need to take bigger risks.

Time, money, ego–invest more, risk more. Yes, you might waste that time or money, or take a big hit to your ego. But you might also get rich.

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