I upped my fees. Up Yours.


Okay, it’s the punchline of an old joke, and a terribly transparent case of click bait. But it’s also offers some good advice.

Especially now.

On any day, most solos and self-employed lawyers charge less than they’re worth. That might not describe you, but I think I’m on safe ground when I say most.

Why? They may not be aware of how much they’re worth, or how much “the market” will bear. And they’re afraid that if they raise their fees, they’ll lose too many clients.

So they look at what other lawyers or firms charge and set “competitive” fees, instead of charging more than their competition and “leveling up” their services to justify higher fees.

But I’ve made this point many times before and I won’t belabor it today.

It’s your decision. But before you decide, I want to point out something you may not have considered.


It’s higher now than it’s been in a very long time and unlikely to come down to earth any time soon.

We’re all paying more for just about everything we buy. Our income doesn’t buy as much, which means we need to earn more just to break even.

Your clients and future clients are in the same boat, and they know it, because they’re also paying more for groceries and gas and everything else.

Which means they probably expect that at some point, they’re also going to pay you more.

You may not want to raise your fees right now. You may not want to “pile on,” especially when many people are having a tough time. You may want to keep your fees at the same level and try to ride out the current wave.

But at some point, you may need to reconsider.

You can’t be benevolent to your clients if you’re hurting. Yes, you may be hurting at a higher level, but that’s beside the point. You’ve got to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

If (and when) you raise your fees, raise them. Don’t pussyfoot around with a 1 or 2% increase. Not when everyone (including you) is seeing their other expenses going up double digits.

You may lose some clients. But you’ll make up for those loses by the increased revenue derived from the clients who stay and from new clients who don’t know how much you used to charge.

I know, easy to say, not so easy to do. But if you want your reality to be one of abundance, not scarcity, you can’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth. And then some, to account for inflation.

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