Dear Client-

I am sending you this message because your retainer account is depleted. Our contract requires that in order for me to provide services, you need provide payment and replenish the retainer. I understand if you are not able to continue paying for my services. Hopefully, you will understand why I will no longer be working on your case.

Although there may be people out there who are capable of providing free goods and services for people in need of them, lawyers are no different from any other business. They are expected to pay for goods and services too. When they go to the store, they have to pay for groceries. When they need their car repaired, they have to pay for that.

For whatever reason, there seems to be a belief that because attorneys charge so much money for their services, they must be making enough money to be able to “carry” you. Rest assured that for most of us this is not the case. Running an office is an expensive proposition, and it does not become less expensive because you have an incredibly sympathetic case.

It is the salient feature of any law practice that there is a select number of clients and potential clients who feel as though taking advantage of the graciousness of an attorney is the mark of a keen intellect. In fact, it simply means you are meaner than they are and have mistaken kindness for weakness. For many of us, trusting people is strength and makes our lives better, and we are happy to let a few get away with it rather than live in that dog-eat-dog world. Be advised: when you give a lesson in meanness you can expect some people will learn it.