We've got a story in the January issue from a patent attorney who offers clients the option of paying up front or, in certain cases, the opportunity to pay nothing initially in exchange for his firm owning a stake in the invention.
In tight economic times, I thought the article was timely as well as timeless. If you have a really solid idea, it might be worth pursuing an equity agreement with your patent attorney. That's money saved for product development and/or marketing, and demonstrates commitment on the part of the attorney.
Damn, I love this magazine.