Should my law firm use retainers or just bill as work is done?

CosmoLex Team

Law firms either bill as work is done (e.g., monthly, quarterly, or at predetermined milestones) or by using a retainer model. The three retainer models most frequently used by law firms are: General retainers Flat fees or advance payment retainers Security retainers General retainers secure a lawyer’s services for a particular period of time, and flat-fee retainers function as complete … Read More

For trust accounting records, what happens if my bank doesn’t return deposit slips?

CosmoLex Team

As part of proper trust account record keeping, law firms are required to keep copies of deposit slips associated with the account. In the event of an audit, these slips help to create a paper trail to verify what your books say. Without them, an auditor could be left wondering what actually happened with the funds. In some cases, banks … Read More

What is the difference between a flat fee agreement and a retainer?

CosmoLex Team

When you develop your pricing structure and client payment options for your law firm, you’ll need to evaluate a number of issues. Hourly billing, contingency fees, alternative fee structures, and more. However, questions often arise over one topic in particular: the differences between flat fee agreements and a retainer. For firms using a flat fee arrangement (also known as “fixed … Read More

When can a lawyer take money out of a retainer?

CosmoLex Team

Retainers are helpful resources for law firms to manage their client’s payments. Not only do they provide funds to kick start their working relationship, but they also make it easier to pay invoices. Retainers are often paid into an Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTAs). Attorneys are entitled to pay themselves out of the account as they complete client work. … Read More