First question: I dont' know if this is an okay place to ask about what is fair compensation for GIS work? If not, is there a better place to do this?
The real question (gory detail): I am a GIS cartographer and I work for myself. Typically, I work and bill for projects on an hourly basis. Recently however, a law firm asked me to do some GIS research and prepare a map exhibit for a lawsuit. Apparently in the legal world things work differently, and since I don't know how much time it will take, they offered to pay me a flat fee for the detective work, but I have no idea how much is reasonable or fair to ask for? I know lawyers make a lot of cheddar, so using my standard hourly rate might be doing a disservice to myself? Does anyone have experience in this arena that could offer some advice?