Accountability––A Key Factor to Our Approach

Accountability––A Key Factor to Our Approach

November 17, 2021

Fairness. Transparency. Honesty. These are invaluable traits for any company, but especially for a legal firm. 

All too often public opinion of lawyers and legal firms isn’t too positive. You can take your pick of derogatory language or negative opinions, but the basic complaint is often the same: these are folks who aren’t out for client interests, they’re only in it for personal gain.

Unfortunately, we all know the type––it definitely exists. And because negativity and sensationalism get more attention, this caricature of our profession perpetuates. Of course some people can honestly relate to the negativity, based on their own life experiences or those of their friends, family, or a story they heard on the evening news.

At Calkins Law Firm, we get it. We understand why folks see lawyers in this light. But we also shake our heads at the notion because it’s so very different from who we are. Instead of overcharging or only taking cases with dollar signs in view, we take on cases we’re confident in, and we always offer our clients complete and total accountability.

Here’s a great example: A few months back, we represented a client in connection with the sale of his business. At the outset of our dealings, we gave our client an estimate of a $20-$30,000 price tag for the project. They accepted this estimate and were ready to pay for a thorough job done. Well we did our due diligence, but imagine the client’s absolute delight when we wrapped up the project and charged a total of $13K!

I don’t know about you, but I've rarely (if ever) had anyone bill for services rendered at a price that’s 30% below the low end of their original estimate. Quite the opposite––I’ve been charged more than the high end of an estimate multiple times. The latter seems to be a common phenomenon. And it’s the frequency and inherent unfairness of those sorts of exchanges that stick with people.

But that's not how we roll. At Calkins Law Firm we’re never looking to squeeze clients for money they don’t have. Nor do we aim to charge what the traffic will bear, figuring that they have the funds available and then billing on a sliding scale. Our rates are constant, we only charge for actual hours expended, and we focus our efforts on what really matters. If the time we’ve put in lands us under the high end of our estimate, then that’s what we charge––we don’t take advantage of our customers’ agreements. We feel that we owe our clients that accountability, and this level of transparency has served us well. 

Now, truth be told, charging clients 30% less than what we estimate isn’t typical. But the point is that if this is how things shake out, then we bill accordingly and in the end, we're happy for it. We have nothing to hide and our clients know that. After all, their trust and loyalty are more valuable than any gains we could ever make from inflated costs. Our clients always come first, and that has been a central pillar to our operations. Clients know what to expect and our consistency, openness, and honesty have been key to our firm’s success. It’s a practice we’ll never change.

If you’re looking to work with a legal team who truly has your best interests in mind and who isn’t afraid to be fair and transparent, get in touch with Calkins Law Firm. Whatever your business law needs, we’re here to help with steady guidance, sage advice, and a refreshingly simple take on the right way to treat customers.

Learn about our approach to legal fees here »

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