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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…
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. …