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TECHNOLOGY

6 tips for choosing legal practice management software

By Diane Camacho There continues to be a tremendous push in the legal community from practice management software companies. This has evolved from the use of cloud-based software. What should practice management software do for you? Keep all your client information in one place. Keep all your information available to you on the go. Allow you to enter your information one time for all applications. Provide document automation. Provide document management. Efficiently track your time and produce bills. Either produce financial reports or sync with a financial management platform like QuickBooks. From my experience in the legal community and particularly working with small firms and solo practitioners, I’ve accumulated the following tips on legal practice management software. Tip 1 Each of these programs have a sweet spot. Some do billing… . . . read more

3 steps to determine what office help you need

By Diane Camacho When you are at the point where you know you have to get office help, take the time to determine what help you need.  Your neighbor’s brother-in-law may need a job, but he may not be the best bet. The following three step process can help you hire the right help.  Step 1 – Track your non-billable time Create a client/matter number for your non-billable time and track it just as if it were client billable. You are in effect paying for it, so track it. Don’t get too complicated. Simple entries that will remind you what type of task you did and how long it took are fine. Perhaps things like: Research new software File papers Type pleading forms Look for insurance brokers Make folders for client files… . . . read more

REMOTE WORK

Digital presenteeism: Faking you care, faking you’re even there

By Lynne Curry A surprising number of employees, determined to hold on to their “work from home” status and aware that managers and others suspect remote employees of working less than their required hours, practice digital presenteeism. Digital presenteeism involves remote employees demonstrating they’re hard workers by responding to additional emails, attending additional meetings, and contributing comments in every meeting. According to a recent job trends report, the average remote employee works 67 additional minutes daily in an effort to convince managers they’re fully engaged in their jobs, https://www.flexjobs.com/remote-jobs/company/talentwise. The same report reveals that a record 85% of managers find it difficult to know for sure if their remote employees are productive. The problem—these actions erode morale and don’t equate with higher productivity. Said one mid-level manager who called me this… . . . 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

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

TECHNOLOGY

Take advantage of case management software benefits

By Elizabeth Miller  bio Case management software is now so popular in law firms that it is rare to hear of a firm that does not have it. The problem is that even though firms have the software, they don’t take advantage of all the benefits. Managing incoming leads and cases Give your law firm an advantage over other firms by providing potential clients with an exceptional experience without the need for face to face interaction. Offer your clients e-signature to sign retainer agreements and other documents from anywhere. Digitize your client intake with forms making it efficient and convenient to sign on with your firm. Centralized case details The great thing about case management software is that all client information, communications, time entries and notes are in one place. … . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Some not-so-difficult ways to increase revenue

Need a better bottom line?
Don’t go the way of most firms and start “stripping the heck out of the operating costs.” The real dollars come from…


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RECORDKEEPING

Use weekly financial reporting to keep partners aware of cash flow

A Vermont manager has found that running the financial reports weekly instead of monthly is an easy way for the partners to stay always aware and in control of what’s…


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INCREASING PROFITS

Keep profits on track with this quick 5-point spring financial checkup

It happens every January. The firm makes grand resolutions to improve the financial performance.
But by spring, the attorneys get bogged down in their old habits. It’s the administrator’s job to keep the attorneys focused on their financial resolves, because their abilities and…


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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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