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MORE PROFIT

The art of delegating to increase firm revenues

By Elizabeth Miller Law firms are unique in that unlike most other businesses which sell a product, lawyers sell time. Their time is, for a better description, “their stock in trade”. Based on this concept, to be profitable and generate sufficient revenues to carry the firm, lawyers should be spending their valuable time doing client billable work. The exception to this are contingency cases and hybrid cases which consist of a part contingency/part billable hour retainer agreement. Contingency cases, however, have to be profitable for a law firm also. With this in mind, the key to profitability and work product efficiency in a law firm is to assign legal tasks to the lowest paid but most qualified person to complete a task. When partners spend their time doing work that… . . . read more

STAFFING

Is it a recession or not? The answer may surprise you

By Lynne Curry My in-box filled with questions after I posted a Recession Fears Loom blog. Readers asked how I made sense of the different views voiced by economists and politicians. As a law office manager with responsibilities around staffing and profitability, you are probably watching to see which way the economy goes. Here’s the background, and my answer to “are we headed into a recession?”: Some say “yes.” Over 60 percent of the 750 CEOs surveyed by the business research firm Conference Board expect a recession in the next 12 to 18 months1. Another 15 percent of surveyed CEOs report their region is already in recession.1 The most recent gross domestic product report that tracks our overall economic health showed a second consecutive quarter of negative growth, the textbook… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

12 MORE marketing secrets of superstar lawyers

By Trey Ryder #13: They provide client service beyond compare. They return phone calls quickly. They work day and night to finish projects. They have backup plans for their backup plans. They err on the side of caution. They hire a bright, responsive support staff. And they always go the extra mile. Whatever it takes, they get the job done. And the superstar’s staff is equally committed to bring the client the best result on time, on budget. #14: They make sure everybody knows they welcome new business. One obstacle successful lawyers face is that other lawyers think they don’t want new clients. As a result, they quit referring cases. When prospecting for new clients, superstar lawyers know it is far better to receive too many inquiries than too few. They make… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

Artificial intelligence can boost billable hours

Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents one of the latest advances in legal technology. Rather than replacing attorneys and support staff, AI can help lawyers and other legal professionals do more to serve their clients with greater efficiency and less expense. Teaching computers to learn One significant advantage of employing AI is the ability of machines to learn tasks that previously required the time and effort of lawyers, according to a blog by SMI Aware, a social media evidence collection and preservation service. Likewise, AI enhances the ability of lawyers to extract pertinent case information by directly typing a query in a search field—or directing the machine to perform a given task. Of course, before computers can perform these tasks, they must be “taught” to do so by humans. Connecting various concepts, such as… . . . read more

12 marketing secrets of superstar lawyers

By Trey Ryder #1: They make marketing their highest priority. Superstar lawyers know marketing is the key to success. They hire capable attorneys to do legal work for them so they can focus their attention on maintaining relationships and attracting the clients they want. #2: They know that nothing is more important than their credibility. Superstar lawyers avoid selling-based marketing, which casts them in the role of a salesperson, because it undermines their credibility and causes people to question whether they can be trusted. They use education-based marketing instead, which attracts clients to them because of their knowledge, skill, judgment and experience. #3: They seize the number one position in their niche. The Law of Leadership states it is better to be first than it is to be better. Everyone knows Charles… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 ways to cut costs with a greener office

By Daryll Esposito The well-being of our planet is a universal concern, but it’s not always front-of-mind when we’re busy at work. The good news is that making greener choices at the office is not only better for the environment, it’s better for your budget too. With Earth Day this week on April 22, it’s time to look at some environmentally friendly improvements. Some common repurposing and recycling advice is not appropriate for a law office, where confidentiality requires paper to be properly shredded for safe disposal.  On the other hand, the move to electronic documents greatly reduces paper use. 7 simple, sustainable and cost-saving steps that any office can take: Turn off electronics at night. You don’t pay your employees while they aren’t working, so why pay for off-duty equipment?… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Corporate law departments strengthen ties with outside law firms

A new report on corporate law departments shows increasing investments in technology solutions, an expected increase in legal spend, and strengthening partnerships between corporate law departments and their external law firms. Thomson Reuters released 2022 State of Corporate Law Departments Report on March 22. The pandemic impacted all aspects of business including corporate law departments globally, which have been on the frontlines of protecting businesses during this unprecedented time. This year’s report provides key insights to aid corporate law departments and the law firms supporting them with world-class business intelligence, including benchmarks on legal spend, how to optimize for the future, and innovative ways law departments can stay a step ahead. “The impact of the pandemic and uncertainty propelled corporate legal departments to drive efficiency as a necessity,” said Sunil… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Enforce those billing and collection guidelines

Getting paid or not getting paid to a great extent depends on the firm’s billing and collection guidelines—and whether they are enforced. Without guidelines, the firm is asking for money loss. Billing is haphazard, collection work isn’t done regularly, personal clients aren’t always satisfied with their bills, and corporate clients may hold up payment or contest the bill. Guidelines will vary from firm to firm. They have to reflect the firm’s culture along with its clients and the type of work it does. But in general, best practice calls for traditional procedures. Here are the basics. First and last month up front Start with a retainer. With almost all clients, the firm takes an understood risk when it accepts work. The client may be a slow payer or a part… . . . read more

LEVERAGE YOUR DATA

Grow your law firm with these top 5 marketing techniques

Marketing undoubtedly plays a major part in law firm growth. But, the process—how it’s done—varies from firm to firm. When it comes to implementing the best marketing techniques, legal marketing teams can be motivated by what high-growth firms are doing to help inform your strategy. That’s the advice from Pitchly, which offers a data enablement system that can help law firms leverage their data—helping them streamline and simplify marketing and business development activities. Law firm growth accelerated in 2021 While the COVID-19 pandemic has squeezed industries nationwide, law firms haven’t felt the same pinch. US law firm revenue climbed 14% during the first nine months of 2021 over the same period the year before. The revenue growth was led by strong demand, not rate increases. Pitchly says law firm marketing departments… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Keep your firm’s goals current

We traditionally set our firm’s goals for the beginning of the year, but setting targets on a quarterly or on-going basis keeps these goals current and relevant. Goals provide crucial support in guiding year decisions through this year and the years ahead. Goals mean that instead of reacting to whatever happens, you’re proactively driving your firm to where you want to go. So, what should you keep in mind when setting your law firm’s business goals for the rest of 2022 and beyond? Here’s advice from Cosmolex, cloud-based law practice management software that integrates trust & business accounting, time tracking, billing, email & document management, and tasks & calendaring, in a single application: Start with metrics for the big picture To know where you want to go, you first need to… . . . read more


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