Six Mistakes You Might be Making in Your Engagement Agreements and How to Fix Them

Apple | Spotify

Episode Description

A good Engagement Agreement is the bedrock of a positive client relationship. It sets expectations upfront and helps ensure you and your client are on the same page. And when you’ve done a great deal of work determining the value you provide in solving the client’s problem and how that value translates into your pricing, it’s important to properly memorialize those components in a comprehensive engagement agreement.

In this episode, we’ll cover six common mistakes made in engagement agreements and how to fix them – including the *EXACT* language I use in my templates. That way, you can keep open a clear line of communication with your client, get paid for all of the work you’re doing, and most importantly, avoid falling into the resentment trap. 

Before you jump in, I want to be super clear about something. Because every practice and every state is different, please review and start with your local Rules of Professional Conduct to ensure you are complying with those requirements. And of course, if something I share doesn’t jive with your local ethics rules, please follow the ethics rules. 

Listen now.

Episode Resources

The Pricing Toolkit

Limited Scope Resources Toolkit by the Chicago Bar Foundation

Ready-to-Customize Engagement Agreement Template

Sample Language from this Episode

Summarizing Assumptions

“This agreement details the scope of our engagement. As we discussed…[summarize facts and assumptions of the client’s matter.]”

Defining the Scope

“The scope doesn’t include representation regarding any other motion that might be filed, including for contempt or the appointment of a CFI.”

Right to Renegotiate

“This flat fee amount for my services is based on my assessment of your case given the facts you provided. Should your case become more complicated or require additional work, an additional fee will be required to cover the additional work. I will not address the additional work until a new Agreement is signed and the deposit is paid. If you choose to not extend my representation to include the additional work, you understand it will be your sole responsibility to complete the additional work as required.”

Communication Guidelines

“Although I do not keep traditional work hours, I strive to respond to all communication by the end of the next business day. While I may communicate during non-traditional business hours, you agree to respect my time and only contact me during these times in an emergency, unless we have a previously scheduled appointment. If there is an emergency, please send a text message that begins with “Urgent”, and I will respond as soon as possible.”

“The tasks under this Agreement include up to three hours of communication time, whether by email, phone, text, or meetings. That amount of time is generally more than enough for the services included in this Agreement. Should you want more communication time, you can purchase more, depending on your needs, at the following costs…”

Get more provisions like this and all the engagement agreement templates you need, ready to be customized and implemented today, for only $29.99!