I do charge for what I do, but not like most lawyers and definitely not as much as big or even mid-sized firms.
For most of the work I do we agree to a fixed fee prior to the start of the project. That agreed fee is the final fee regardless of how long it takes or how many questions you have. This works for both sides, it makes me efficient with my time and doesn’t punish you for how fast or slow I read or, more importantly, how difficult the other side winds up being. To be honest I also really hate keeping track of my time and billing it every day. With fixed fees I spend my time as a lawyer and you have no surprises when I send the bill. I see that as a definite win-win.
I also consider alternative billing approaches, including fees contingent on capital being successfully raised or a deal closing, equity, monthly retainers for outsourced general counsel work and whatever we can dream up together. If we decide to work together I truly want it to be a partnership.
My approach is a result of having been a multi-million dollar client of law firms in the past. I always thought hourly billing created some inherent conflicts for lawyers to be efficient or to “work a file” to make your hours for the month. My focus as a client was on the value being provided. I actually paid a legal bill for $1.3 million that had a single sentence description of the work because the result was obviously excellent. How that result was achieved in six-minute increments wasn’t important to me.
For work that doesn’t make sense on a fixed fee basis I do bill by the hour, but will create a budget with you for the work so there isn’t a surprise at the end.