You have just hung out your shingle, but you do not know what amount to charge clients for your hourly rate. What do you do? There is a lot of advice out there. One solution might be to ask around and find out what the market rate is for legal services in your area, with your level of expertise. That makes sense to a certain extent, but from a marketing standpoint, does it make even more sense to charge a discount from the market rate in your area as a means to attract new business? If so, how much of discount can you offer? Do you simply pick a number at random?
Questions such as these vex new and seasoned attorneys alike. Today, I found a handy online calculator over at Lawyerist.com, which offers a methodology for figuring out what hourly rate to charge clients. The calculator asks you how much you would like to earn in after-tax income as well as how many hours you want to spend working. It also takes into account monthly office expenses. It then calculates an hourly rate. Nice, right?
If you are a new attorney or one with experience, and are uncertain how much you should be charging as an hourly rate, you might want to play around with this online calculator. It is easy to use and might help shed some light on a persistent problem.