Like time-share shysters and ultra high-end restaurants, most lawyers prefer not to advertise their fees. Oh, many attorneys advertise their hourly rate, but that does not really help consumers, who have no idea how long a task should take.

Why not?

Sure, you have a better chance of getting a client to sign a retainer once they walk in the door, so many attorneys focus on that. But if potential clients already know what you charge before they walk in the door, your potential client:client ratio should approach 1:1.

Will you lose clients if you give up the opportunity to give your “spiel” to each one? I suppose that, in part, depends on your spiel.

I have seen criminal defense attorneys whose sales method seems to be scaring the hell out of potential clients, then trying to find out how much money the client could beg, borrow, or steal for a retainer fee. That is definitely harder to do through a website or phone book ad.

If, on the other hand, your strategy is to be straightforward, up front, and consistent, I think advertising your fees—to the extent you can—could only help. We’ll see, anyway. I am giving it a try to see how it goes.

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