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Elefant: "Court-appointed work is not supposed to be a full-time job!"

Carolyn Elefant has a talking-to for solos, now that the Massachusetts legislature has raised hourly rates for court-appointed attorneys but also limited the total number of hours that they can bill. She writes,

"Court-appointed lawyers can't expect a guaranteed stream of revenue at private rates.  It's a trade-off.  If lawyers want the security of a flow of cases for which they don't have to advertise or market, then they can settle for court-appointed work at a lower rate.  If they want to make more, then they need to go out and find the clients who are going to pay -- and stop asking the captive ones to fork up even more money.

"And as I've always said, court-appointed work is interesting and a good way to pay the rent early on or even a way to do work that's got a pro bono element without working entirely for free.  But if you want to step up to a successful practice, your plan has got to include weaning yourself from court-appointed work.  After all, why limit yourself to $84,000 a year when you could possibly make ten times that much?"

Posted by Laurel Newby on July 25, 2005 at 03:13 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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