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Characteristics of a modern compensation plan for lawyers

By Brenda A. Barnes and Camille Stell A successful compensation plan should reflect shared goals and values. A successful plan also requires trust among the members of the firm. A winning compensation plan aligns the values of the law firm with relevant, up-to-date market data. Here are additional components of a modern compensation plan. Evergreen Compensation plans must be constantly evolving. What worked 10 years ago is likely not working well today and what works today may not work five years from now. The legal system has faced as much change in the past 10 years as in prior decades. Everything about the system has changed, from the amount of law school debt that the majority of young lawyers have, to the changing face of legal competition. Continually reviewing and… . . . read more

9 time-saving tips for busy law office administrators

Law office administrators are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a law firm, which can be a complex and time-consuming task. In order to be effective, it is important for law office administrators to find ways to save time and streamline their work processes. Here are some tips and strategies for doing just that: Automate as much as possible: Technology has come a long way in recent years, and there are now many tools and software programs that can help law office administrators save time and streamline their work. For example, you can use automated scheduling tools to manage appointments and meetings, or use document management software to organize and store legal documents. Use templates: Instead of starting from scratch each time you need to create a document or… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

3 questions to ask in your daily standup meetings

A daily standup meeting can be a highly effective way to keep your staff motivated and moving on important tasks. This 10-minute meeting, used in a variety of workplaces, provides an opportunity for a quick check-in on the day’s priorities. As the name implies, participants stand up—a posture that discourages long discussion. The meeting is so short no one bothers to find a seat. You should schedule the meeting at the same time and place deal. The start of the shift, after staff arrives and gets settled for work but before the office opens to clients, is one common time to schedule the regular standup meeting. You should also start on time rather than wait for latecomers. You can use the time to review ongoing projects such as filing backlog…. . . . read more

INCREASING PROFITS

Should a lawyer do administrative tasks to save money?

By Elizabeth M. Miller Should a lawyer do administrative tasks to save money? Of course, the answer is no. Struggling business owners will spend time to save money, whereas successful business owners will spend money to save time. Because you can always get more money⁠—you cannot get more time. So, you need to ensure the work you spend your time on makes the biggest impact. This is called leverage and leverage is the best kept secret of the rich. It works like this: If you spend five hours per week on administrative work at $400 per hour x 4.3 weeks per month it will cost you $8,600.00 per month of billable client hours. Over the course of a year that is $103,200.00 of billable time that you could be billing… . . . read more

INSIGHT

Office politics and how it damages your firm

By Elizabeth M. Miller  bio
Office politics can be a problem in any size law firm—from a firm as large as 1000+ to as little as a solo practitioner with 2 staff members…


. . . read more

Job market for 2021 law grads one of the strongest ever

The job market for the 2021 law school grades was one of the strongest on record. The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) has released its Employment for the Class of 2021 — Selected Findings, a synopsis of key findings from the upcoming annual Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law School Graduates. The release of the full Jobs & JDs report is anticipated in October 2022. This year’s selected findings, available at www.nalp.org/classof2021, show that the employment outcomes for the Class of 2021 were some of the strongest that NALP has ever recorded, as the U.S. economy recovered from the COVID-19 related disruptions that impacted the Class of 2020. “Driven by extraordinary demand for talent at the largest law firms, a healthy private practice market propelled… . . . read more

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

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

HIRING

Jobs in law top pre-Great Recession numbers

The U.S. legal services sector now has more total jobs than it had when the count hit its previous high point in 2007 shortly before the Great Recession, according to U.S. Labor Department data as reported by Reuters. The legal sector added 3,000 jobs in June, reaching a total of 1,185,600, the preliminary seasonally adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed. This exceeds the historic high of 1,179,500 jobs the sector reached in May 2007, according to BLS data. The legal services job count includes lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals. BLS legal sector jobs data is available stretching back to 1990. Newly revised data for May 2022 also shows the sector cracked its previous 2007 record that month, with a total of 1,182,600 legal sector jobs. The May 2022… . . . read more

TOOL

Love contracts: Help for hot messes

They arrive at work separately. They never touch each other in your presence. Then, as you chair a meeting, you see his gray eyes seek hers out across the conference table. She returns his gaze; her eyes linger. Suddenly you know. The senior manager, despite all the sexual harassment seminars he’s attended, appears romantically intertwined with an accounting clerk. If you’re in charge, how do you handle this hot mess?  The reality Some managers and supervisors would never have an affair with an employee they oversee or an employee in their company. Others consider the workplace a dating pond in which they fish. Still others fall into a relationship that makes them disregard risks. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, one in three U.S…. . . . read more


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