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INCREASING REVENUES

Boost quarterly profits with this proven 6-pronged cost cutting plan

As revenues tighten, every administrator is forced to look for new ways to cut expenses. There are lots of dollars waiting to be saved. But many of them are in places so conspicuous they…


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TECHNOLOGY

Buried by paper? Time to crawl out and go digital

In a report dated August 9, 2012, Linda A. Halliday, the Assistant Inspector General for Audits and Evaluations of the Department of Veterans Affairs, called for immediate action to address the “Risks Associated with Veterans Claims Folder Storage, Building Integrity, and Employee Safety at…


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PURCHASING & LEASING

5 purchasing tips that can save your law firm money

Cutting purchasing costs doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are five approaches to purchasing your firm should consider…


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READER TIPS

A manual that covers the entire administration

A Washington, D.C. administrator has set up an operations manual that covers every imaginable item of managing the firm.
It holds the basics of everything so that when she is out, the firm “can be on autopilot and keep the trains running on time,” says Jill D. Hirsch, chief operating officer of Slevin & Hart. And, she says, “it’s for me as well as for someone stepping in for me.” No administrator can remember every detail of the office’s operations, so it’s a quick reference whenever a question arises.
The manual covers the daily administrative procedures, the emergency procedures, the accounting controls, the recruiting – everything. There’s also a timeline, so if a partner wants to…
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TECHNOLOGY

How document automation can save you thousands

Does your firm use document automation tools? If not, you’re not alone. According to a survey conducted in 2013 by the International Legal Technology Association, a whopping 62% of law firms surveyed reported not using a document automation system. But when you think about how much time your team spends assembling variations of the same documents every day, automating the process is something to consider.
“On average our customers who implement document automation technology as a part of their everyday work practice save 72 percent of the time they would otherwise spend on the…

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PURCHASING & LEASING

Don’t put your vendor contracts on auto-pilot

It’s easy, to say nothing of convenient, to get comfortable with business relationships and not to question what the vendors are doing. But in the meantime those vendors have every ability to slip in added costs the administrator does not notice.
Don’t just renew vendor contracts automatically.
The firm can often save money and get better service by putting those contracts out for bid. At the very least, bidding keeps the current vendors honest and on their toes.
How to write the RFP
An effective request for proposals has several elements. Begin by explaining what…

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INCREASING PROFITS

How to make 2015 the year you improve value, cut costs, and increase profits

Are you prepared to handle the competition of 2015? Do you know who’s elbowing in on your firm’s share of the legal market? Are your firm’s partners even aware that there’s a risk?
Ron Friedmann, a consultant with the legal industry-focused management consulting firm Fireman & Company, has spent over two decades improving law practice and legal business operations with technology, knowledge management, and alternative resourcing.
And according to Friedmann, in today’s market, there are a few factors that are putting law firms of all sizes at risk of losing their share. These factors include…

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PURCHASING AND LEASING

Paying too much office rent? Try these 7 rent-cutters

Can the partners live with less space?
After payroll, office space is the firm’s second highest expense, in most cases eating up from 7% to 10% of the revenues.
With the bite that big, every office needs to look for ways to cut the office cost.
Here are some good ways to do just that. And along with them are some lease negotiation factors the firm can use.
1 The same size office for everybody
The most significant savings comes from the obvious. Get rid of the unnecessary space. The most effective way to do that is to use the same size office for all the attorneys – partners and associates alike.
While tradition says the partners get larger offices, the same-size approach has…

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COMPLIANCE

Model Policy: Copyright compliance

Why you need this policy:

Copyright infringement has become a serious liability risk for law firms:
   * In 1991, a mid-sized Washington, DC, law firm was sued for $14 million by a publisher. The case was eventually settled but not until after the firm incurred over $1 million in legal fees;
   * In 1999, a large Wall Street firm settled a copyright infringement case for an undisclosed amount believed to be $115,000 per year to the Copyright Clearance Center;
   * In 2003, a major financial service firm was ordered to pay $20 million for copyright infringement.

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READER TIPS

Use long-term vendor contacts to win long-term savings

Regular meetings with the vendors have led to significant savings for a North Carolina firm.
Tracy Cook, administrator with Gailor, Wallis Hunt, an eight-attorney firm in Raleigh, NC, started the meetings when she came to the firm several years ago.
One of her first actions as administrator was to go through the vendor files to see which vendors had contracts or did regular business with the firm. There were many, from the copy machine vendor to the insurance provider, the accountant, on down to the courier, and she set up meetings with all of them.
Her opening with each was to explain that the attorneys had given her the job of reducing office expenses and “I need your help. What can we do differently?”
Office supplies, water and coffee
One of the largest savings was with office supplies…

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