Every lawyer in private practice has conducted this call within 5 minutes of hanging a shingle.
Lawyer (L): Hello?
Potential Client (Not Really) (PCNR): Yes, are you a lawyer?
L: Yes! I am! (stated with oodles of nauseating enthusiasm)
PCNR: I’ve got this situation. (explains situation in gory, irrelevant detail)
L: Wow. OK, well, the way I see it… (lawyer proceeds to give away all his knowledge in an in-depth analysis of all gory, irrelevant details)
PCNR: OK, so… (asks question after question after question after question (ad nauseum))
L: (Answers questions, because wants to have clients and help them)
PCNR: This is great!
L: I’d love to take your case, my fee is (any dollar amount from $5 to whatever).
PCNR: Well, you’ve given me a lot to think about. I have your number right here.
And on this basis, the call ends.
30-60 minutes of professional life spent with nothing to show for it. You do, however, have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve given someone much to think upon, and that your number is right there.
Young lawyers gain experience, and these calls go from 30-60 minutes to less than 1 minute. We develop skills to control the conversation from the get-go, dissecting the most important points, and sending quickly-identified lookie-loos on their way.
I had one of these calls just the other day and dispatched it in 34.62 seconds. As I sat back, prideful of my learned expedience, I realized that maybe I’m missing the bigger issue.
These potentials were actually sending a very strong message. They needed help in a legal niche that has never been tapped. They need a lawyer to give them something to think about. As both an entrepreneur and lawyer, an idea popped into my head.
Eric: Specializing in Giving You Something To Think About
Brilliant! You know it’s brilliant. Admit it to yourself.
Forget hours hunched over an appeal. Put away those suits you wear to the courthouse. Rid yourself of pesky depositions.
From the comfort of my home, I endeavor to provide thousands with the legal help they really need, but no lawyer was wiling or able to give.
Something to think about.
But, hey, I gotta pay the rent. How to do this? The answer is as clear as the niche.
Competitive, a la carte, tiered pricing.
Here’s how it works:
Level A: Something to think about regarding the specifics of your legal issue. This is detailed. All facts are considered, no matter how minute or insignificant. Talk as long as you want. I’ll give you everything I know. Fee: $1000 for the first hour, $750 for each additional hour, with an additional $2500 if you cause me to become suicidal + any actual costs arising from institutionalization.
Level B: Something to think about: generally pertinent to the ultimate consequences of your legal issue. Time is limited on this one, and not all facts are considered, but we’ll get you into the ballpark. Examples include: “You should totally plead not guilty” or “Settle this one for $5000” or “You’re probably looking at 4-6 years in jail” or “Have you ever considered residing in Ecuador?” Fee: $500
Level C: Something to think about: Whether to hire a lawyer or not. From very basic facts, we give you one of two answers. Answer 1: You should hire a lawyer. Answer 2: You probably can get away with not hiring a lawyer. Fee: $250
Level D: Something to think about: Screwed? You’re given 20 seconds to tell me as much as possible. Then, I reply with “Dude, you’re screwed” or “I don’t think you’re screwed, yet” or “You totally screwed him/her/it.” I then hang up. Fee: $50.
Level E: Just something to think about. I call you. You are not allowed to talk. I give you something to think about. What I say might be relevant to your legal matter, but only by sheer dumb luck. Examples include “Which Muppet are you attracted to, and what does that say about you?” or “Why do farts smell completely different when they originate in water?” The call ends immediately after I give you something to think about. Fee: $10.
There you go. No need to tell me that I’ve given you something to think about. As the national expert/specialist in such matters, I know all about my skillz.
Yes, I will accept credit cards, goods-in-kind, and bitcoin.
So, next time you need something to think about, give me a buzz. I’m the lawyer for you.
And I’ll let you keep my number right there. For free.