Centerbase Blog

Law firms today are finding it increasingly necessary to meet specific client needs with their invoices. If your firm is to receive payments from clients in a timely manner, it is important that your invoices communicate the information expected by each client in the format that they require. With the right software and planning on the front end, this does not have to be an onerous task. The Basics To begin, there are some criteria that should be included on every invoice, regardless of the invoice format or template. You want to ensure your invoices provide: Client Contact Information. Matter…
In an environment where the business side of practicing law equals the importance of the provision of client services, legal operations have emerged as a driving force behind law firm administration. Evolving from the combination of various support and administrative tasks, legal operations are the processes and activities that help legal departments efficiently serve clients by applying business and technical principles to the delivery of legal services. While commonly used in the discussion of in-house legal departments, the concept can also be applied to law firms, particularly those that routinely provide corporate legal services as outside counsel. The Evolution of…
As law firms prepare to turn the corner and head back to normalcy, flexibility is playing a major role in the execution of their plans. Return-to-office announcements from the nation’s largest law firms range from a 100% workforce return to continued remote working arrangements, but they all include a higher level of flexibility than traditionally seen within the legal community. Over the last decade, remote working arrangements became quite commonplace within corporate America. A growing number of companies began offering their workers the opportunity to work from home, recognizing the financial savings and employee satisfaction that resulted from these arrangements.…
After months of planning and building from the ground up, we are excited to announce the launch of a brand new exclusive community for our clients! Centerbase’s mission for the community is to provide clients with a vibrant channel to ask questions, find answers, and engage with legal professionals from around the country on Centerbase best practices. Be the first to know and participate in discussions on upcoming product updates, training webinars, and the direction of our product roadmap. We want to foster conversations about getting the most out of Centerbase to drive success at your firm. So when can…
Staying current with technology can be an expensive undertaking. Software is constantly improving, and firms that continue to use server-based software are finding it impossible to keep up with advancing technology. If a firm wants to take advantage of the latest and greatest, it must be willing to adopt a cloud-based system. By asking the right questions on the front end, your firm can rest assured that a cloud-based system is a safe and viable option. Advantages of Cloud-Based Systems There are innumerable advantages to a cloud-based system that goes above and beyond the fact that you will always have…
Law firms are entities built on tradition, where the experience that comes with aging is revered and often celebrated at the highest levels of the firm. But in today’s legal environment, technology and innovation rank just as high as maturity. Change has become a constant within the industry and law firms must keep up in order to remain relevant. Unfortunately, getting every member of the firm on board with tech changes can be challenging for firm administrators. Some more seasoned employees may resist new ways of handling business, or they may find it difficult to grasp unfamiliar technologies. But these…
When you think about the function of a law firm, your thoughts probably go straight to the provision of legal services. But law practice administrators must recognize that their firms are also revenue-earning businesses that need money to operate. For this reason, it is imperative to keep tabs on financial performance. They need to know whether the firm is bringing in enough revenue, as well as whether strategies and expenditures benefit or hurt the firm. With regular reporting, firms can track metrics that provide valuable detailed financial analysis. This blog will take a closer look at some of those metrics,…
The Importance of Strategic Planning We’ve all heard it before – “fail to plan, and you plan to fail.” And we have all heard it because it is true. Without a plan for where you are headed, you will never arrive at the desired destination. Where to Start It is important to make time to plan. With the many demands of your practice, it can be very difficult to tear yourself away from your firm to work on your business in addition to working in your business. It is important to recognize that despite the fact that those hours spent…
There is a common aphorism that often gets applied to life that goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. And it’s true in many cases. In good times, many businesses can see great returns, and the economy and emotional spirit of both large and small groups or populations of people can be elevated. But these past few years have been different. We are coming out of a really trying time, but something we have heard reiterated time and time again is that through challenging times, a firm’s branding and marketing efforts become critical. More importantly, when the going gets tough,…
Bottlenecks commonly occur within the law firm environment, but certain pain points are specific to attorneys as they provide legal services to firm clients. A single client matter can encompass numerous steps, from developing a strategy and managing client expectations to implementing the plan and bringing the matter to a close. At every stage of that process lies an opportunity for obstacles, especially when lawyers lack the technology they need to handle their cases efficiently and effectively. Add in the unique challenges of remote work arrangements, and the potential for bottlenecks looms even larger. The following bottlenecks represent some…
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…