Centerbase

We all know it is easier to keep an existing client than to obtain a new one, yet many firms fail to focus on practices that will ensure their clients receive a consistently positive experience with their firm. Some intentional effort in your firm’s practices can make a world of difference for your clients and for your firm. The common mistakes below can be easily addressed in your firm to create a more positive client experience. Ineffective Intake Process The client experience begins before an individual ever steps foot in your door. By focusing on creating a positive intake experience,…
Law firm administrators wear all types of hats on any given day of the week. Their work impacts the financial health of the firm, while also promoting the efficient provision of legal services. As the link between the legal and business sides of a firm, these professionals need a strong grasp on a variety of organizational concepts. From human resources to accounting responsibilities, administrators handle a wide range of duties as they seek to maintain and grow their law firms. Some of the most common responsibilities of a law firm administrator include: Gathering and analyzing firm financial data Handling human…
Why are referrals so important? You already know that referred clients tend to be your highest quality clients, but they are also the most affordable to obtain. These clients typically walk through your door pre-sold on your services and expertise and off the bat they come in with a much higher level of trust and respect. Additionally, referred clients are much more likely to pay on time and refer others to your firm in the future. There is no question that referrals are marketing gold for law firms and because of this, it makes sense to invest time and money…
Today more than ever, attorneys are realizing there is more to being a lawyer than the practice of law. Firm leadership needs to run the firm like a business. The most successful firms also know it isn’t just about the billable hour. If a firm is to be profitable, there are key metrics to consider and actions that can be taken to improve the firm’s profitability without increasing billing hours. Know the Hourly Cost of Your Timekeepers In a prior blog, we reviewed the importance of using cost accounting methods to know what the hourly cost is for each of…
Over the past few years, automation and technological advancements have been making headlines. Publications from the National Law Review regarding lawyers’ ethical obligation to technology, to articles from Above The Law about how technology can make you a better lawyer, there is no escaping it! Even the New York Times has contributed their thoughts on A.I. and its impacts on our industry. The news of legal technology and its prevalence throughout the industry is becoming more and more ubiquitous every year and there’s a reason why. Hesitant eyebrows have been raised surrounding automation and A.I., but the consensus remains that…
Law firms who wish to work for insurance carriers or larger companies are finding it almost impossible to do so if they are unable or unwilling to practice LEDES e-billing. For the firm manager who has never dealt with LEDES e-billing requirements, the task can feel daunting. With a basic understanding and a few tips to get your invoices approved through the audit process, your firm can accept clients who require e-billing without fear. What is LEDES E-billing? LEDES stands for Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard. This billing format was created in 1998 to address e-billing issues. It creates uniformity…
The events of 2020 and their impact on our lives will not be soon forgotten. Like other businesses, the legal industry is seeing changes to its landscape as we move forward in 2021. In general, law firms weather downturns in the economy better than most, but there is nonetheless a change in the areas where attorneys will be most needed. With some forethought, attorneys and firms can proactively prepare for the changes ahead. By combining this preparation with an intentional focus on client service, you will find success. Practice Area Growth While attorneys will always be needed, we have seen…
Did you know that only 33% of firms with 10–49 attorneys use practice management software? Furthermore, only 51% of firms with 100+ attorneys use practice management software. We find that a lot of firms become interested in adopting practice management if they only have a billing system when they begin to evaluate new technology. And we agree that if a firm is coming from a system that strictly handles billing, it is a good time to consider moving to a practice management system. A practice management system creates a hub for the entire firm to find information about your cases,…
To get the history of practice management consultants within the legal industry, you have to go back about 30 years or more. Back then, all programs were server-based (i.e., not in the cloud), so you needed someone with enough technical expertise to understand how to load your new program onto your server, install all the updates when they rolled out each year, deploy those updates to your server, and ensure everything functioned and was maintained properly. Ultimately, if a firm needed or wanted to switch to new software, four things needed to occur: Someone had to install the software on…
Buying legal technology can go one of two ways: your firm ends up with great software that fits your needs or a week after go-live you come to find that you’ve made a huge mistake.  In, How to Begin Evaluating New Technology, we discussed how to collect and categorize your firm’s feedback. The next step your firm should take is to create a requirements list. When you begin this process, one thing that is very important to note is that you should not commoditize your practice management system. Making an exhaustive requirements list can sometimes move you in that…
Many people are resistant to change. Oftentimes, that resistance comes down to two factors: the fear of loss or the fear of having to adopt new processes. Whatever the reason may be, change is often the inhibitor preventing innovation and improvement. With this in mind, ask yourself this, if change is necessary for the advancement of society and businesses alike, how can you help your firm embrace the change that will help improve your business? There are three types of change that impact our firms. People-related changes can be a change in the duties of an individual or position, promotions,…
Timing is everything, right? The old adage holds true when thinking about upgrading technology.  Maybe you’ve been on legacy software for years. Maybe you work entirely on paper. Perhaps you’re still dipping a fountain pen into an inkwell (by the way, if that’s the case – cool). Wherever you’re at, how do you know when it’s time to start evaluating new technology? Is there ever a bad time? And why do you need to make a change anyway? If you can’t give sound answers to these questions, then figuring out where to begin is going to be considerably more difficult. …
With the continuing change in the landscape for law firms, it is increasingly important for firms to understand where their most profitable areas of practice lie. Gone are the days of multi-generational client loyalty. As a result, firms must hone their skills and identify the areas that are most beneficial in adding to the bottom line. Regardless of how altruistic your firm’s core values are, without a profitable business, you will be unable to support your clients or your employees. There are multiple metrics a firm can monitor to ensure financial success. Having good billing protocols is a good place…
Because of its prevalence, most people already know what this is, but put simply, the cloud allows an internet user to access a third party computing resource located in almost an endless network of interconnected servers that allow you to run your computer’s applications over the internet without having to buy, install or manage your own servers.  What this means is you could run your firm’s IT operations with nothing more than a browser and internet connection. By using the cloud, firms of all sizes can reduce IT costs, manage data storage needs more effectively, and improve staff flexibility. In…
The legal billing process can be a challenge for every law firm, but it doesn’t have to be. A combination of the right policies, procedures, and technology can be used to stay on top of attorney time and make the billing process efficient and accurate. Software that encompasses both practice management and time and billing in one platform is an effective way to keep everyone on the same page and meet your clients’ needs. Use your firm’s legal software and good policies and procedures to: Set up a client onboarding process that is consistent, seamless, and gives your new client…
In 2021, whether you realize it or not, you’re a “mobile” lawyer. The digitalization of the world we live in has made the proliferation of cellphones and on-the-go devices an undeniable part of our everyday routine.  Did you know that as of 4 years ago, nearly 100% of lawyers were using mobile computing tools for at least some aspect of their practice? So now, it isn’t “nearly,” it is a resounding “everybody.” Everyone has a cell phone and everyone uses it both for personal and professional reasons. We are all working in a mobile world these days and the expectation…