Experienced lawyers apparently worth $40 per hour, tops

Spotted on Craigslist:

I’m looking for a licensed lawyer (if you just graduated and passed the bar and can legally practice) with experience in family law (that’s looking for more experience and references)to assist me with my custody case. I will pay at a rate of $20.00 to $40.00 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications. This is a case that may require a minimum of 5 hours of preparation. I am a paralegal and can help with paper work if needed. I pay for all expensives. I would like to find someone who could assist with this beginning this weekend. Please email me.

*****Please Serious Inquiry Only*****

I think some of the kids in my neighborhood make more mowing lawns. Either this is a sign of the times, or the public has an abysmally low opinion of the value of legal services.

For those still learning to screen clients, this Craigslist poster shows all the hallmarks of a problem client who will quibble about every line on every bill, demand your full attention (but refuse to pay for it), attempt to dictate every aspect of strategy, and generally make you wish you had never taken the case.

Run away.

Family Lawyer Needed (TC) | Craigslist

(thanks, Layne!)

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  • The (really) scary part is that the poster claims to be a paralegal and thus, presumably, should know what both a qualified attorney and a qualified paralegal are truly worth and the amount of work a custody case takes.

  • Sounds a lot like handling defense cases for insurance companies.

  • Elizabeth Lewis

    I would be interested to see if the person got any responses. If the person is an experienced paralegal, then the person would know that even if she prepared most of the filings, the attorney has to review them which takes time and probably won’t be billed at $40 an hour, much less $20.

    To say that you want to pay $20-$40 an hour for an experienced attorney is crazy. I have a feeling that the type of attorneys who would respond are either brand new with absolutely no experiences or a little off their rockers.

    I also wonder about trying to find an attorney through Craig’s List. I don’t know if I’d want to find someone to handle a divorce (which could become quite messy) at the same place that I buy used furniture. Just my two cents.

    Elizabeth Lewis
    Legal Solutions for Small Business
    Web: http://www.eclewis.com
    Twitter: @eclewislaw