What if you could receive your total fee upfront at the beginning of an engagement while still allowing your clients to pay in installments? It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
With legal fee financing, not only is it possible, you can start taking advantage of this modern payment option today.
What is legal fee financing?
Fee financing (also known as fee funding) is an installment loan option that enables customers to purchase products or services while paying for them in smaller increments over time. By establishing a direct relationship with the merchant, the consumer can avoid using credit cards to cover the cost of the purchase and eliminate the associated fees and interest charges.
Legal fee financing is one of several alternative payment methods offered through law firms. By easing the burden of large, one-time bills, law firms can make legal services more accessible to those who need them most.
Who should consider getting help with legal fee funding?
Law firms that cater to first-time legal clients report cost as the primary deterrent for customers who decide not to retain legal counsel. With 63% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck and the average hourly rate for legal representation sitting at $275 across the country, law firms must utilize the best available tools to help potential clients afford services.
Why should law firms offer options for legal fee financing?
There are several reasons why lawyers should consider offering legal fee financing.
- Appeal to more prospects. Although traditional billing remains the primary choice for millions of consumers, legal fee funding solutions became popular during the pandemic. It is now a standard and expected payment option. For younger consumers, fee funding solutions will be vital in choosing which attorney or firm they engage for services. Adding legal fee financing as one of your available payment methods can make a massive difference for your firm. It can elevate your practice to reach more prospects and, ultimately, increase your profitability.
- Improve cash flow. Fee funding also improves the consistency and reliability of your cash flow. Lawyers often hesitate to let clients pay over time because traditional payment plans can have a higher incidence of late and non-payments. Offering financing for legal fees helps mitigate the risk of both. Your firm receives the total requested amount upfront, and clients can split an invoice into multiple payments. If a client falls behind on installment loan payments or refuses to pay, your law firm is typically not responsible.
- Get paid faster and spend less time trying to collect. The other significant benefit of legal fee financing is that it increases how quickly you collect your total fees. When it comes to traditional payment plans, giving clients the ability to make multiple smaller payments over time means, by definition, you receive smaller deposits. Allowing clients to use a legal fee financing option, on the other hand, means you can secure your total invoiced amount at the start of the engagement. By offering clients flexibility in payments, your firm’s lawyers can spend less time trying to collect unpaid legal fees.
- Build stronger client relationships. Hiring a lawyer may be one of the most expensive decisions your client will ever make. When offering legal fee funding to your clients, you must clearly communicate their financial responsibility from the start. Set clear expectations as to what clients can expect to see on invoices, when they’ll receive them, and how they’ll be able to pay. This will spare them from unexpected bills and ensure that you receive timely payment for your work. Most importantly, these conversations start your relationship on the right foot. Offering legal fee financing and walking clients through what that means may keep current clients coming back and increase referrals.
Manage your law firm’s financing options
Adopting an online payment solution enables you to offer flexible payment options such as credit, debit, eCheck, and in some cases, legal fee financing. The result is a stabilized cash flow, happier clients, and more time to focus on work that matters to you.
Beyond the benefits listed above, the advantages of fee funding ultimately serve both you and your clients. Your client gets help with legal fees and knows precisely how much they will owe with a set number of smaller payments scheduled over an established time frame. This is an increasingly attractive option for consumers during growing economic uncertainty.
To learn more about LawPay, ClientCredit (a fee lending solution built by LawPay specifically for the legal industry, powered by Affirm), and our commitment to supporting your firm’s success, visit lawpay.com/cla.