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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

INCREASING PROFITS

5 law firm billing practices for better cash flow

By Brenda Barnes It’s probably not a big surprise that if your firm does not have sound billing and collection practices, your cash flow will suffer. It also probably goes without saying that when cash flow suffers so does partner compensation. How can you tighten this up? First and foremost, you need to have solid billing policies that are agreed upon and followed! Enter your time daily. With today’s mobile technology, there is really no excuse for not entering time daily. Your practice management software should be so easy to use, so easy to access that there are really no excuses. Enter time from your desktop, laptop, iPad, cellular phone and dictate it directly to your software. If your software is not providing your attorneys this flexibility, make the investment now… . . . read more

TRAINING

Are you measuring the right metrics for your law firm training program?

By Doug Striker bio I recently attended a fabulous webinar hosted by LearnUpon, the award-winning company that serves as the platform for our Savvy Academy Learning Management System. This webinar was designed to help learning and development (L&D) professionals quantitatively assess the impact of their training programs. Let’s face it—this is the biggest challenge of any training or educational program. Are you adding value to your firm? More important to upper management: Does your work contribute positively to the firm’s bottom line? During the webinar, Frances Kleven, Manager of Customer Success for LearnUpon, discussed: The key reasons leading L&D teams calculate the success of their learning programs. The most valuable metrics you should be recording. How to align your L&D metrics and business goals to develop a high-impact strategy. If… . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Can every attorney in your office answer these 10 critical questions for 2021?

Want to see more profit in 2021? Get each attorney to draw up a practice plan for the year. A plan forces the attorneys to organize their work agenda by focusing on practice development, production, and self-improvement. What’s more, it ensures that everybody does work that furthers the firm’s goals, it keeps the marketing focused, and it keeps the collections in line. Use this 10-point format: First are the hours goals 1 What is the number of hours you will devote to billable work? This forces the attorneys to take a serious look at how they should spend next year’s time. It also forces them to look at their historical performance. It’s not reasonable, for example, for an attorney who has billed 1,400 hours for the past two years to… . . . read more


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