Attorney Ray Kerlick describes our customer centric practice of law at Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick. Call or text 800-929-1725 for an appointment.
Summary of the Customer Centric Model Video
Attorney Ray Kerlick opened his presentation at the Matagorda Small Business Seminar with a description of the changes he and his partners are making at his law firm.
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about organization, regulation, and insurance in the setting of being a small business. Shea Krauskopf is our newest associate attorney at the firm, and he’s going to be manning our Bay City office.
Our firm now includes nine lawyers in four different locations, which still makes us a small business. One of the things that we have tried to do as we have moved forward with growing our business is to recognize that it is a business. So many of the things that you guys are hearing about today are things that we’ve struggled with over the course of the last five years as we’ve really been growing our business.
What you’ll realize, if you talk to a lot of lawyers, is that most of us had no intent to be businessmen. I got into this profession because I wanted to be a paid thinker — that’s what I always tell people. I think big thoughts and I write them down and I get paid for it. But somebody still has to pay you for that. That is our business, so our business is a little different. We don’t make things. We help people solve problems.
We’re Moving to Make Our Law Practice More Customer Centric
What we have tried to focus on over the course of the last two years is to make our practice more customer-centric. It’s not about us as a lawyer — it’s about our customers and their experience. We want to make it less scary, to make it more transparent, and to help you understand what we do and how much it’s going to cost before you get involved in a transaction.
Lots of times people don’t go out and get advice, especially from a lawyer, because they’re frightened. It’s kind of a scary process. What’s this person going to tell me? Or it’s too expensive. Or it’s just too much trouble. It’s time consuming. I don’t have the time to deal with it.
Shea and I actually just met with a person here in Matagorda County. If the fellow had come to us for an hour or two to let us look over a contract before he signed it, our review probably would have cost him a maximum of $500. Our review of that contract could have saved him about $75,000, which is where he’s out of right now. So, please don’t be that person.
More Upfront Pricing for Your Legal Work
Recognize that there are lawyers who will tell you what they charge in advance and will hopefully make the process of getting legal advice a little easier to navigate. So part of what we’ve been doing recently is to do more upfront pricing. I’ll tell you in advance, this is what it’s going to cost. That’s all you’re ever going to owe me. This is the number. Now we can’t do that on everything, but on lots of things, especially related to businesses, we can.
More Client Interactions Online
The other thing we try to do is have more online interaction, where you can submit questions by text or online. A lot of the information that we need from you, we’re going to collect in online forms and client portals that will come directly back to us. Therefore, you won’t have to take time out of your busy day to come to our office. We’re going to send you a description of the information we need from you online. We’ll get it from you online, and you’ll get it to us on your time.
Your Legal Work Done More Quickly
The fixed fees for legal work and online interactions allow us to provide you with really prompt responses. Here’s an example of some of the things we’re doing. How many people in this room have a will right now? So you guys have thought about it and taken the time.
I don’t know how many of you remember that process. Of the people who have wills, how many went through someone other than a lawyer — like something online? There you go, LegalZoom.
That is an indictment of my business that you’d feel the need to go to LegalZoom. I should be better than that. Lawyers shouldn’t be mad at LegalZoom, we should be mad at ourselves. We haven’t met a need that people have. We’re trying to fix that every day in our customer centric focus.
One of the things we are promising is that we can provide you with an estate planning package that will be prepared and ready for your signature within a week. We can do that right now. If you call us for this estate planning package, we’ll send you a description of the information we need. If you provide that information promptly, we can have your estate plan ready for your signature within a week. Most people don’t get their information back to us as promptly as we’d like, but as promptly as you want to do it, we can do it. We also provide our estate planning package at a flat rate. It’s only $750 for a husband and wife, that’s it.
How do we come up with this price? This is what we can do it for. We’re not making a lot of money on that because we have to pay a lot of people. I’ve got nine lawyers that I have to pay and 12 staff members. I’ve got a lot of mouths to feed.
We’re going to talk a little bit about business organizations, setting up LLCs, setting up limited liability companies, corporations, all of these things. I will also tell you almost all of those things, we can do on a flat rate. You can call me and ask how much is it to set this up, and I will tell you. This is what it will cost — this is all it will ever cost.
Now, it’s not a price for unlimited legal work involving your business. It’s a price to draft the documents to set up your business. If there’s a dispute later involving the business, obviously that’s a new matter and we’ll have to talk about it.
We don’t want the scariness or the price of getting involved with a lawyer to be a hindrance for anybody to get some of the protections we’re going to talk about today.
Call for an Upfront Price for Your Legal Work
Call or text 800-929-1725 for an upfront price for your legal work. We can’t promise an upfront price for all legal work, but we can give you a price for many legal services. We can also promise that we’ll minimize your visits to our office through online interactions. We’ll also work for a rapid turnaround of your work.
We have four offices — two in Wharton County and two in Fort Bend County — with a Matagorda County office opening soon.