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Lawyers: Being Paid Shouldn’t Be Like Pulling Teeth!

What Lawyers Can Learn From Dentists

Attorneys have historically let the client lead the payment dance. Lawyers do the work and hope/expect to be paid without waiting too long or discounting the invoice too steeply. Yet, here we are at the beginning of another year with many law firms still waiting anxiously for overdue checks to arrive. Shame on us for letting this happen. What can we do differently?


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I arrived early for my root canal last week, and as if the anticipatory anxiety wasn’t bad enough, it was heightened when I realized that I left my wallet at home. Why the increased anxiety? Because I knew that dentists require payment before you leave the office. As I was worrying about my wallet, I had an epiphany — lawyers can learn a lot from dentists, especially when it comes to establishing billing and collecting expectations. (Dentists have successfully eliminated the billing component, which has been replaced by the payment receipt.)

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