Back in March we offered to provide simple Wills to members of our community at no cost (you know, for free). We decided to limit the program to 20 people per month to ensure that we were not overwhelmed by requests for free simple Wills. And the response to our free Will program was overwhelming. By “overwhelming” I mean only 3 people applied for the program. Not three per month, just three overall. I guess no one believes lawyers would do anything helpful for free.
We learned an interesting lesson. People don’t trust free. In fact, each of the three people who applied for a free simple Will asked the same question “why are you doing this?” The truth is that we wanted to provide a service to our community. Simple Wills are relatively easy for us to prepare and we can’t charge all that much for them to begin with, so why not just give them away and build some good-will in the process.
Of the 3 people who took advantage of our free Will program, each of them were very grateful. But none more so than Ms. Betty Jamison who decided that she wanted to provide us some form of payment in return. So she and her husband, James, cooked up a batch of barbecue ribs and a homemade lemon pound-cake. She brought the food to our office and we ate like Kings. I never knew law practice could taste so good.
I never wanted or expected anything in return for our free simple Will program, but I truly appreciated the home cooking. Not just because it tasted delicious, but also because these people spent their time making us food. And with cooking like that, we may have just stumbled onto a new way to bill for our legal services.