Boilerplate Special: Modern Fee Agreements Should Contain Technology Provisions

When it comes to engagement agreements, law firms often practice a ‘less is more’ philosophy.  Doing what is ethically required in terms of identifying rates and scope of representation covers what you need to tell your clients; but, it may not be all that you want to tell your clients.  Modern law firms, as well as modern legal consumers, can also focus on important additional clauses.  For instance, modern legal consumers may want to know about the technology a law firm uses, as well as the data security principles to which it adheres.  Modern legal consumers expect that type of transparency from data and software companies; and, as law firms become more technically viable moving forward, there are going to be more similarities than differences between those two (seemingly wholly different) business models.

If this sounds like a thrilling (well, maybe not) new endeavor, you can start by including a technology clause into your fee agreement.  This will allow you to show your potential clients that you’re focused on technology, and that you’re running a modern law firm.  It will also allow you to clearly communicate to your clients that you understand and take seriously your obligation to secure their data.  Lastly, you will allow your clients the opportunity to sign off on your technology tools and processes, and to offer them the chance to ask questions — or even object to the use of certain programs.  That kind of discussion can be highly productive, and will also allow you to relay to your new clients their own responsibilities with regard to safeguarding the confidential information they keep and send to you.

Modernize your law firm by starting at the beginning: with your engagement agreement.

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If you want to reconstruct your fee agreement, we can help.

The Wyoming State Bar offers free law practice management consulting services through Red Cave Law Firm Consulting.

To request a consult, visit the Wyoming State Bar’s law practice management page, and start running your law firm like a business.

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