Law firms have two different kinds of expenditures, overhead and the costs of handling a given case. Overhead is the costs of keeping the doors open, paying staff, and so on. You aren’t charged individually for those items. Most law firms do hold you responsible, though, for expenditures that come up only as a result of your case. So, court fees to file a case will be passed on to you. In recent years, the legal industry has come to look at Costs and Expenses as a potential profit center, the idea being that law firms could make more money if they worked harder to pass on more and more costs to you. Nowadays, most law firms are going to charge you for every single stamp, every long distance phone call, every minute spent on Westlaw, and every photocopy. Moreover, you will probably be charged more for these “expenses” than they cost the firm.
The Practice of Law Should Not Be About Nickels and Dimes.
At BadgerLawyer, we don’t charge you for every stamp or photocopy. We don’t pay Westlaw by the minute, so we don’t charge by the minute. Long distance is a cost of doing business. Our basic rule of thumb is if we don’t have to write a check to another business for the work (experts, Kinkos, Fed Ex, investigators, the courts), we don’t charge it to you.