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cloud2010

Solicitor Solo AMA

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10 minutes ago, cloud2010 said:

I am tempted to increase fee to that point, but fear a back clash. Are you in the GTA or a smaller center?

 

 

Do it. With the volume you're already handling, you'll be fine. How much of an increase would that be?

I'm in a smaller centre, but with a booming residential market. I've had a couple cold calls who decided to go elsewhere after shopping around but otherwise clients are either existing or come from referrals such as realtors and brokers and haven't expressed an issue with the fee.

I've expanded my real estate practice in the past few months due to high demand, but I've never liked this area, put a good deal of time into each file, and can't bring myself to do it for less than that. If people think it's too much and want to go with the lowest bidder, I understand that and support them going elsewhere.

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$1050.00 plus HST and disbursements, which seems to be on par with surrounding firms (excluding real estate mills).

The retiring lawyer I joined regularly increases fees on deals if there is anything 'extra' like changing lenders and is very upfront about this with the clients. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I think this is where you get burned the most - extra emergency work for your client's or a third party's problems/mistakes, and you end up losing your shirt on the deal.

 

17 hours ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

By far the most complaints I get are about fees for Wills + POAs. Some people think like $400 for a Will and POAs is "ludicrous". Lol.

I have heard on numerous occasions of firms (both medium and small) offering simple Wills and POAs for $250-350 in southern Ontario. I have no idea how that can be a successful business model and it creates a very unrealistic market for other lawyers. People also have the impression that anything pulled from the internet, typed out or written on a kleenex will be fine so why pay so much for a lawyer to do something 'fancy'.

You often spend a large amount of time gathering the requisite information (god forbid you get on to the topic of a problematic child, a family heirloom, or an in-law spouse the whole family has suspicions about), estate planning, then there is drafting and at least 30 minutes to complete the signing. Even if a clerk is doing a large amount of it, there is costs for their time. So even if you look at it for what it is, a loss leader, you are in for a lot more than $300 and unless every one of these wills is for a client on the way to the retirement home you will very seldom realize on the ultimate goal (administering the estate) within any reasonable amount of time for the investment to be worth it. Speaking with any older lawyers and they have safes/cabinets full of wills that they will never deal with before they retire.

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It's between 500-750 in my town (50k), depending on counsel.

250-350 is like 1 hour of work - I can see people doing that for people with very modest assets though.

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Hey guys,

I've been reading through the thread and was wondering if anyone can offer some thoughts on what areas of law are a great place to start a solo practice in. I understand that its best to focus on what you are interested in and what you are naturally good at but I was wondering what areas are easier to "break into" in terms of retaining clients. 

I worked in several areas of law during my articling term, however, I pretty much liked them all except employment.

Thanks!

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20 hours ago, honeybear said:

Hey guys,

I've been reading through the thread and was wondering if anyone can offer some thoughts on what areas of law are a great place to start a solo practice in. I understand that its best to focus on what you are interested in and what you are naturally good at but I was wondering what areas are easier to "break into" in terms of retaining clients. 

I worked in several areas of law during my articling term, however, I pretty much liked them all except employment.

Thanks!

Solicitor work can be relatively hard if you start out completely on your own without connections. My understanding is that Family law is one of the easier ones if you're open minded and willing to do diverse work. If you have experience in say Family, Crim, and general litigation you could always open up shop advertising all three things and see which way the wind blows you in your region. I know you said you don't like employment but if you are in a smaller town sometimes certain areas of law like employment or estate litigation are underserviced...

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Thanks for your insight - appreciate it! I was actually thinking along the lines of family law as I have experience in this area and it may be easier to get clients in the beginning with legal aid being available. I'm also going to look into estates law as I'm interested in living in a smaller town.

Thanks!!

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9 hours ago, honeybear said:

Thanks for your insight - appreciate it! I was actually thinking along the lines of family law as I have experience in this area and it may be easier to get clients in the beginning with legal aid being available. I'm also going to look into estates law as I'm interested in living in a smaller town.

Thanks!!

In a smaller town family law can be a decent access point, over time, for solicitor work. Your clients who are separating/divorcing will need new wills, they will often need someone to handle their refinance and real estate transfer with ex-spouse, etc. 

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