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What Botched Can Teach Us About Legal Fees

My wife occasionally watches the television show Botched. From what I have seen of it, it is captivating in that train wreck sort of way. Many of the stories on the show follow a familiar pattern: a patient tries to save money using a bargain basement plastic surgeon, which inevitably results in horribly unfortunate disfigurement. To say the least, these patients end up with results that look nothing like the appearance they were expecting before undergoing surgery, and often have the additional medical problems stemming from surgical complications. These victims (ahem, patients) then shell out big bucks just to fix the problems created by the cut-rate surgical procedure.

Botched tends to reinforce the age-old saying: you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, we meet with clients all the time who have experienced the legal equivalent of the patients on Botched. Most families I know do not have a line item in the family budget for “unexpected legal fees.” So, in an understandable effort to be good consumers, clients will often pay for cut-rate legal services, or try to represent themselves. As tight as the family budget may be, hunting for the lowest price is not usually the best way to solve your legal issue, and it can often create more problems than it solves. It is all too common to meet with clients after the damage from a bargain-approach to their legal issue is done, with few of fixing the original problem. Like the patients in Botched, these clients are often left with the scars and additional costs from their reluctance to do things right the first time.

Hiring a lawyer is making an investment in how you want your life to look in the future. Can you afford to gamble with your future?

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