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Attorney’s fee pricing

David,

I’m genuinely upset about and grappling with attorney pricing. I really don’t know a divorce lawyer who’s making a lot of money without stealing it.

The legal system fails people needlessly. It’s pretty well designed, but too often poorly implemented and administered, in my opinion. Those who try to improve it are often marginalized or demonized.

Divorce attorneys are, in the real world, by and large, predators. They exploit fear and anger to get paid. To make matters worse, the overwhelming majority of clients want to pay very little AND get upset when cheap services fail them. So hypocritical. So unreasonable. So stupid. So frustrating.

So many think they can find that one lawyer who’s dirt cheap and has magic powers. I understand the desire, but it’s just not attainable.  Yet there are plenty of lawyers who promise exactly that (such lawyers do not exist, or if they do, they’re as hard to find as the Ghost Orchid) and thus keep the myth and the misery it causes alive.

Divorce lawyers often keep cases going just to keep collecting fees.

One can pay a divorce lawyer a few thousand or close many tens of thousand dollars for the same result.

And so the stories get around, both true and false. So it’s not surprising that divorce lawyers are looked upon with deep, deep skepticism. So people are wary of lawyer pricing (as well they should be).

Few, if any, people want to pay a lawyer for “compassion” or “great customer service.” I know because I’m a compassionate guy who provides good (trying to be great) customer service, but few recognize it and nobody really ought to have to pay a premium for decency. I won’t charge for or advertise compassion. That’s tacky. Anyone who tells you, “Hire me, I’m compassionate,” is almost surely lying (or at least exaggerating). People are jaded by attorney advertising. I get it.

I’m transparent with pricing. Nobody notices. I offer a satisfaction or your money back, no questions asked, guarantee. I do that so that the client doesn’t have to bear so much of the risk of hiring an attorney. It hasn’t attracted any attention. I write a book on Utah family law for Westlaw. It’s been in print for 10 years. Nobody seems to think that’s much of a value either.

I seek to “do well by doing good” in my marketing, but I’m still in the weeds.

Sincerely,

Eric K. Johnson

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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