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February 18, 2008


James Mason


This drives me nuts as well. . .and I JUST don't get it. I use the example (which I lifted from my friend JoeRecruiter-THE Legal Recruiter), of Surgeons and Dentists. Those folks don't do hourly billing, and nobody seems to have a problem with it, even Accountants.

Heck, even Board Members, (who were mostly accountants back in the day) who, it seems to me, are mostly responsible for the nickel and dime-ing and nitpicking and fussy fustiness that led to the death of that noble "Olde" practice of Mr. Firm Founder, Senior going to lunch with Mr. Corporate President, Senior, and, perhaps over a nice Port, only slightly older than either of those two August gentlemen, the gentle placing of an envelope of the finest laid linen on the table linen, in which a piece of the also finest linen stationery, engraved and everything, would contain one line of text: "For Legal Services Rendered", and a figure.

Now, granted, the figure might be heart-stoppingly heart-stopping, but, back in the day, when the Messrs. Senior were running things, and winding very nice lunches up over little bitty glasses of Vintage Port, Legal Matters were not to be sniffed at, and the engaging of a Law Firm was a serious matter indeed.

Perhaps Lawyers and those who love them, (even if we only love you in the way my nephew Bubba loves him a good rare steak), caused their own problems, and more's the pity, but at the end of the day (I REFUSE to stop saying that, trite tho it may be), it hurts me in the heart when I think about the smartest of the smart measuring out their lives in six-minute increments, like pouring spoonfuls of sand into a sandbox.

If for no other reason, I say that Lawyers, Law Firms, and Lawishly-related (my contribution to new words) professionals have GOT to say "No More.! I mean it, too!"

My dentist, my doctor, hell, even my Gardener, for Pete's sake, and probably Pete himself, ALL charge by the job. If I bust a tooth, or my Zinnias need kerflunking, or, Saints Preserve Me, if my jowls begin to sag, I know that one of these pros is ON THE CASE. And I can get an "Estimate," too. But none of them, not ONE, will be charging me an hourly rate.

I find that oddly comforting.

Warm Regards,

James E. Mason
Managing Partner
Mason|McRight Legal Recruiting

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