The only thing a lawyer has to sell is his time. The price he sells it for has to pay for his office, his employees, all the supplies and computers he uses, his home, his car, and everything else he needs to support his family.
Still, the Badger is not insensitive to how it seems to non-lawyers, like you’re paying this guy an awful lot of money to sit around and think. I mean, maybe you work by the hour, and at the end of the hour you’ve done something, right? Well, lawyers at the end of an hour have done something too. They’ve consulted with you, worked on a brief, done legal research, talked to the opposing parties, and so forth.
That still leaves the question of why legal fees cost so much. Why are you paying 180, 200, 250 dollars per hour for lawyer time. How can it really cost that much?
A look at the numbers helps explain it.
A lawyer can generally bill around 1800 hours per year. That’s 36 hours per week, 50 weeks per year. Now, a lawyer can’t bill for everything he does. Some time is “non-billable.” Coffee breaks, supervising staff, running to the photocopier, time spent refreshing one’s memory on a legal subject he’s a little rusty on, etc. In an average 36 billable hour week, a lawyer tends to work about 50 hours.
Now let’s consider the lawyers expenses. The lawyer has to rent office space, heat and cool it, furnish it and pay for secretaries, receptionists and legal research software (which is ridiculously expensive). This will cost about $220,000 per year, give or take how nice the office space is. Corporate and employment taxes will cost another $40,000 or so, and the lawyer probably wants to make a decent salary. Let’s pay her $120,000 (she still has to pay taxes – and her student loans – on that). Add that all up, and the lawyer has to bring in $380,000 a year to keep the doors open. That works out to just over $210 per hour.
The Badger believes there has to be a better way. We are absolutely committed to the idea of keeping expenses down without sacrificing the quality of our service, even if that means a pay cut for our lawyers, even if that means we have to work a few extra hours. We strive for efficiency in everything we do.
That’s why, if you look at our fee structures, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much legal service you get for your money at Badger Lawyer.