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How are changes in today’s climate impacting your law firm profitability?  Technology has changed our world significantly, and law firms are slowly catching up to the rest of the business world in many areas. Gone are the days of the large offices, where every attorney has their own secretary, and the firm houses a large library full of books that must be manually updated with those supplements that would arrive on a regular basis, much to our chagrin. As we have slowly joined the rest of the world in the ways of online research and paperless offices, we are also considering…
There are a lot of fancy definitions for the term “strategic planning.” But at its core, all it means is to pinpoint a direction you want to go and then make decisions on how you plan on allocating your resources to get there. It is important to see the difference between strategic planning and marketing. And you may raise an eyebrow at that, but you’d be surprised how often people view these as the same thing. Strategic planning encompasses many operations of your business. Marketing is merely a piece of that coupled with things like your budgeting and reporting. It…
What does your cash flow look like this year? How about your net income by year-end? Having a quality budget in place removes the guesswork and fear from your financial picture and ensures you end up where you want to go. We have all heard the phrase, “Failing to plan means planning to fail.” A good budget will not only help to forecast net income and cash flow, but it will help you to plan for potential problems before they become emergencies. The two most common types of budgets are zero-based and incremental. If you are a new firm with…
What does it mean to have an international deposition? This simply means that the witness will be in a foreign country. However, in this new virtual reality we’re in, there are new challenges and components that we didn’t have to deal with before. Between juggling the complexities of international depositions, paired with the logistical and tactical struggles of video conferencing, you will have a lot on your plate. As you begin navigating this process, there are some basic steps you should be taking that will hopefully make your depositions run as smoothly as possible. Let’s check them out. Steps to Conduct…
Today’s reality looks something like this: we wake up slightly later because the longest commute we now face is walking from our bathrooms to the kitchen.  Dogs barking in the background, kids running in the background, and a home office set-up that would make Office Depot proud.  Working from home is our reality and although we have quickly adapted to this change, some industries face hurdles that far outweigh others.  Unfortunately, the legal industry is not exempt from the hardships that work from home has caused. Sure we have telephones and Slack and other means of communication, but by removing…
In, Accounting 101 for Law Firms we discussed how when firms are asked, “How do you want to define growth?” The leading response is always through revenue.  That is great, right?! “Revenue.” We all love this word, it’s great a great way to track performance, but how do you actually track revenue? Is it as easy as simply counting the dollars that come through your door? We wish.  The first thing you need to do is start utilizing KPIs. Your key performance indicators will be your best friends and the figures you need in order to answer the question,…
Everyone handles their email inbox differently. Some people have to clear every unread message out at the end of each day, while others let their unread email notifications pile up until there’s no going back. But one thing is for certain, our inboxes today are significantly more overwhelming than they were even just a few years ago. Before we jump into email management and everything therein, we are going to take a moment to talk about a psychological philosophy called Flow. Essentially, Flow is a state of mind in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity. While this…
If your firm doesn’t have a proper intake process, you could be losing a lot of billable time working on administrative and organizational tasks. In, Business Development 101: Online Communication Strategies to Increase Your Billable Hours we discussed how properly utilizing the various communication forms (phone, email, text, and website) can make a huge impact on your productivity and future revenue generation.  Today, we are going to dive deeper into the client intake process and learn how you can not only improve your process but retain better clients.  To start, let’s do a little refresher on how potential new clients…
When firms are asked, “How do you want to define growth,” the leading response is always through revenue. This response consistently outranks growing a larger client base, expanding staff or hiring more attorneys, and adding more practice areas or geographical locations.  However, not every firm is growing. Today, there are three groups of law firms in the industry that are actively working on open matters. Those are firms that are growing, firms that are stable, and firms that are shrinking. The biggest hurdle that solo, small, and even medium firms are facing is finding billable work. In a typical…
When firms are asked, “How do you want to define growth,” the leading response is always through revenue. This response consistently outranks growing a larger client base, expanding staff or hiring more attorneys, and adding more practice areas or geographical locations.  However, not every firm is growing. Today, there are three groups of law firms in the industry that are actively working on open matters. Those are firms that are growing, firms that are stable, and firms that are shrinking. The biggest hurdle that solo, small, and even medium firms are facing is finding billable work. In a typical…
Lawyers are spread thin, and a lot of time is spent on laboring tasks and not on as many billable tasks. In fact, on average, lawyers only bill for 2.3 hours of their time. After factoring in realization and collection rates, the average lawyer only collects about 1.6 hours of billable time per day. And to go a step further, about 33% of an average lawyer’s time is spent on business development. If you recall, in Standing Out in Today’s World: How Communication and Branding Can Make or Break Your Firm, we talked about the fact that 2 out…
In late December 2020, Congress approved an additional COVID-19 relief package as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Included in the $900 billion aid package is funding intended to provide a second round of relief for small businesses that are still struggling in the wake of the worldwide pandemic. A key piece of this legislation is funding earmarked for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, or, colloquially, PPP2. The PPP Second Draw legislation is sure to be met with mixed feelings by small to mid-sized law firms across the country. Many of them are still weary from…
As an attorney or managing partner, you know what’s needed to practice law – that much is undeniable. However, law firm management is much more than just showing up to court. It’s about staying profitable and keeping operations efficient and within the confines of your practicing areas of law. How do you ensure client satisfaction while also maintaining proper recordkeeping? How do you overcome some of the biggest challenges around timing and tasks that aren’t bringing in profit? Covering your tasks well so you can focus on profitability versus tedious admin to-dos is key to improving your day-to-day law firm…
In, Reviews & Millennials Part 1: How Your Online Presence Can Make or Break Your Firm, we discussed how the habits, preferences, and overall style of millennials impact not only the legal industry but your firm as a whole.  Today, we are going to take a look at how you can use your online web presence to protect and gain referrals, how you can utilize the power that is Google, and how to begin thinking about social media as a point of leverage, not as a pain point. Importance of Directories Millennials and other consumers, in general, are looking…
When it comes to legal research tools, the internet is the most widespread resource everyone uses, almost without question. Having the savviness to find and use the best free and/or budget-friendly tools gives attorneys an edge – especially at smaller or mid-size practicing firms. As we’ve seen, these tools continue to evolve, providing legal researchers (no matter their role) the agility to find the right information needed for the case. Complete with alerts and filters that prevent endless scrolling and frustrating hours lost sifting through everything but the statute you’re looking for, it’s clear legal research has made life easier…
Let’s go back 16 years to 2005. The youngest millennials were what? Around 8 years old? And if you were to take a look at websites and law firm’s online presence 16 years ago, what you would see was an unaesthetic, barebones framework with an ‘About Us’ section, a stock photo (if you were lucky), and a phone number. Having an online presence back then meant really one thing: you had a website. Fast forward to 3 years ago, and what do we have? An internet that looks wildly different. Being online doesn’t mean you just have a website, it…