Ann Guinn's 7 Secrets to Overcoming Under-Earning

31 October 2016 11:07am

Seven Secrets for Climbing Out of the Underearning Rut

Lessons from Two+ Decades of Helping Attorneys Maximize Their Earnings.

In my 30-something years in the legal industry, I never met an attorney or law firm that I didn’t believe could make more money.

That doesn’t mean that I consider every attorney or law firm an “underearner.” 

By my definition, underearning is about earning below your potential. It’s about making choices in your law practice – either actively or passively – that cause you, your family members and other members of your firm to feel stress about not having enough money.

But there can be other parties stressed by your underearning as well, ones that most attorneys think benefit from it: your clients.

If you’re not earning adequately, you’re probably not taking care of your clients adequately.

The number one reason underearning becomes a problem for a firm’s clients is that attorneys who fall victim to it almost inevitably don’t invest properly in their own practices. And at the top of the list of investments that fall by the wayside is the technology that could help you serve your clients’ needs more efficiently and at a better value.

I’ll use practice management software as an example because it probably has a bigger impact on improving client service and attorney productivity than any other technology in the legal industry.

Why? Because today’s practice management technology allows you to store all your files electronically, so you (or anyone else on your staff) can respond to client concerns or questions almost instantly, no matter where you are. Instead of searching through paper files that may or may not be where you need them to answer a client inquiry, practice management technology such as LexisNexis Firm Manager® allows you (or any of your support staff) to bring up every detail of every matter in just seconds on your computer or mobile devices. Even if you’re not in the office when the call comes through. Even if the matter in question
is ten years old (or older).

And inadequate technology is by no means the only way an attorney’s underearning creates client concerns.

Many of the underearning attorneys I’ve worked with through the years automatically reduce some clients’ bills at the first sign of trouble (or even before it), even allowing some to go unpaid altogether. Many have no system in place for dealing with overdue accounts, too often writing off bad debt because:

  1. They fear a bar complaint,
  2. They don’t want to be “too pushy” with reminder letters, or
  3. They believe their clients aren’t capable of paying their bills, which may not be true at all.

Automatically writing off bad debt without even trying to collect it is unfair to those clients who do pay their bills in a timely manner. Imagine how your best clients would feel if they discovered they paid more for your services simply because they were responsible about paying their bills.

Finally, if the underearning is severe enough, and goes on long enough, you may well be forced out of business, leaving good clients who appreciated your talents forced to find another attorney.

So given the fact that no one, not even clients, benefits from their attorney’s underearning, it’s time to outline the steps for overcoming it. We’ll explore each in more detail later, but the most important step in helping you beat underearning is realizing that it’s possible

Here’s my plan.

The seven secrets for conquering the underearning habit once and for all.

In my 20+ years consulting with underearning attorneys, I’ve developed my own seven-step plan for maximizing your earning potential so you and your family can live the life you’ve always
wanted. We’ll go over each in greater detail in later sections, but here is that seven-step plan:

  1. Acknowledge that you are earning below your potential.
  2. Identify all the choices you make that cause you to underearn, both active and passive.
  3. Set personal achievement goals and develop a plan to reach them.
  4. Set one goal for yourself each day to work on to correct underearning.
  5. Make a positive decision to spend time every day on the business side of your practice.
  6. Spend some time every day on marketing.
  7. Delegate the tasks you shouldn’t be doing.

Now, having tidily laid out the “Seven Secrets,” I will be the first to admit that it’s not possible to implement every step all at one time. The steps that went into making you an underearner
didn’t all occur at one time, and neither will correcting them.

Whatever the reason for your underearning – whether it’s a self-esteem issue, negative beliefs about money passed down from your parents or, as in many cases, a simple need for more
information about how to run a successful business – the most important thing is to get started correcting it, and the sooner the better.

But before you start changing the way you run your business, it’s worth taking the time to figure out whether you actually are an underearner or not.

DO YOU FIT THE DEFINITION OF AN UNDEREARNER?

Chances are, if you feel that the subject of underearning is important enough to read this paper, you’ve probably struggled with some aspect of it. Or maybe you’re interested in finding ways to maximize your earning potential.

And just to make it clear up front, the amount of money you earn in a year is not necessarily the best gauge of whether you’re an underearner or not.

I’ve consulted with attorneys who earned in the very low five figures whom I considered to be earning at or near their potential, and not because they weren’t smart or capable enough to earn more. I made that assessment simply because, for one reason or another, they deliberately made the decision to focus their energies on matters they considered more important than earning at their
maximum potential, such as raising a child or caring for a sick spouse or parent.

I’ve also worked with attorneys who made well over six figures whom I considered to be underearning. That may have been because they didn’t adequately pursue unpaid bills, advertised payment plans with very small monthly payments, lived on advance-fee deposits or flat fees paid up front, or any number of other reasons.

If you are indeed an underearner, the stress you feel can overpower and shortcircuit
the mental and intellectual bandwidth you need to better care for your
clients, so you owe it to everyone concerned to do what’s necessary to get on
track to maximizing your earning potential. And that starts with understanding
exactly what it is that you’re doing wrong now.

Active or Passive Underearning:
Either way, you and everyone that depends on you lose.

There are two types of underearning: active and passive.

Active underearning occurs when you knowingly do something that will cause you to underearn. For example, you may accept clients whom you know can’t pay you, be too quick to discount billable tasks, quote a lower fee than usual in the hopes of landing a client, or any number of other things that will cause you to earn less than you should.

Passive underearning, on the other hand, is about failing to do something thatwould have resulted in you making more money. Some classic examples of passive underearning are: failing to raise your rates, not investing in technology that would make your practice more efficient, not following a strategic marketing plan, or not pursuing past-due accounts.

Both types of underearning are equally destructive to your practice, so whether you’re doing something wrong (active underearning) or you’re NOT doing something right (passive underearning), you’re equally responsible for your choices. Following are some in-depth examples that I come across frequently in my work with underearning attorneys.

DANGER ZONES: RECOGNIZING THE SIGNS OF UNDEREARNING.

Almost every attorney I consult with about underearning somehow feels that his or her case is unique. While the justifications they’ve talked themselves into may be unique, the ways they express their underearning almost always fit neatly into fairly predictable categories:

  • Marking down bills automatically (Active underearning) – Many attorneys are so uncomfortable with billing for their services that they talk themselves into reasons why their clients will be angry or disappointed about the total before they even send out bills.

    If you’re one of them, you should instead consider what brings clients into your office in the first place. In many cases, they’re under an enormous amount of stress. Many are so relieved by having a legal burden taken off their shoulders that they’re happy to pay for your services in full, no discounting necessary.

    Automatic discounting can create the expectation of more discounting, and it may actually make your services less valuable in the minds of your clients – the very people who came to you in the first place because they valued your work.
  • Not making timekeeping a priority (Passive underearning) – Many attorneys make timekeeping more difficult by neglecting to record a week’s or even a month’s worth of time until the last possible moment.

    Since doing so will almost inevitably cause you to lose a substantial amount of time from simply forgetting phone calls, emails and other tasks that would otherwise be billable, it’s not fair to the other members of your firm affected by your loss of income. Poor timekeeping skills can also be unfair to your clients because you may be inadvertently overbilling them. Your clients expect and deserve a detailed breakdown of time, but may instead find overly general categories of charges (“Phone calls: 12.5 hours”) that they can neither confirm nor deny, making them suspicious about being overbilled.

    Truly accurate timekeeping must be performed contemporaneously as you go through the day. Relying on an automated timekeeping tool such as Time Entry Advisor, which sends you daily or weekly reminders of unbilled tasks (e.g. phone calls, emails, client meetings, documents, etc.), will not only help you accurately capture your time each day; it will also help you fill in the blanks when you have a
    timekeeping lapse.

    If you spend billable time out of the office, use a mobile device so timekeeping really is recorded as you go. Out-of-office time is frequently missing from client bills at the end of the month because it simply never gets recorded.

    Either way, you benefit from capturing and billing more hours by recording your time as you go, and your clients benefit from more accurate and properly detailed invoices.
  • Billing infrequently (Passive) – I often work with attorneys who send out client invoices as infrequently as quarterly or after even longer periods. My own feeling is that law firms should make a practice of billing AT LEAST once a month, if not more often when large numbers of billable hours are piling up.

    Billing more frequently not only allows you to get paid faster, which improves your firm’s cash flow, it can help your clients, who might otherwise feel overwhelmed with larger-than-expected bills.

    Many attorneys also find that the longer they wait to bill, the more likely clients are to challenge items they may not remember, or even decide not to pay. As my attorney friend Christopher Anderson often says, “There’s nothing less valuable than services already rendered.”

    In other words, the longer you wait to bill after helping a client, the easier it is for them to forget how much they appreciated your help at the time it was provided.
  • Not requiring an adequate deposit (Passive) – There are many reasons attorneys tell me that they don’t require reasonable deposits from their clients, and not one of them is based on good business principles.

    Requiring a deposit (I think it’s best to ask for an advance fee deposit equal to at least the first two months’ worth of expected billings) will not only help your firm avoid constant cash-flow crises, it can help weed out clients who either can’t afford your services or may have no intention of paying your full bill in the future. If your client can’t afford your advance-fee deposit, then your client can’t afford you – period.
  • Allowing overdue bills to go unpaid (Passive) – The more professional your billing and collection practices, the less likely you are to experience problems with unpaid invoices.

    If you have a good legal accounting program, such as LexisNexis Firm Manager® or PCLaw® (which also include client and matter management features for all-in-one ease), you can set up your software to automatically send reminder/dunning letters of increasing urgency to your clients at pre-set intervals. While I’ve consulted with attorneys who felt that dunning letters were “too pushy,” once again, it’s important to remember that clients will only value your work as much as you do.

    If you can’t find it in you to send even the most polite reminder letters, you’re painting yourself into a corner you’ll never be able to exit. The practice of law is an exchange: You perform a service of value in return for payment of equal value.
  • Not raising rates when it’s called for (Passive) – The price of office space is affected by inflation, as is outsourced work (e.g., bookkeeping tasks, contract projects, etc.), administrative help, power and water, pretty much everything associated with the cost of running a law firm. Never mind that with every passing year, you gain more experience that makes you more efficient and valuable as an attorney.

    If you’re not occasionally raising your legal rates, you’re going backward. And you can only go backward so far until you simply can’t afford to be in business as an attorney anymore. That doesn’t do anyone any favors, most particularly your clients.

    I recommend that you take a hard look at your rate once every year to make sure, at the very least, that you’re keeping up with your own increasing costs.
  • Accepting too many pro bono cases (Active) – I would never tell any attorney not to take pro bono cases. Taking on such cases is an important tradition in the legal world and one I heartily recommend.

    I do become concerned, though, when attorneys who barely eke out a living themselves give away legal services to such an extent that it denies their own families a reasonable lifestyle.

    Which brings us to the next item on our underearning list…
  • Putting other peoples’ needs above those of your family and other firm members (Active) – Unless you’re independently wealthy, underearning always negatively impacts someone besides you, whether it’s family members who depend on you for the basics of life, firm partners who have to work harder to keep your share of expenses paid, administrative employees who aren’t paid what they’re worth, etc.

    If you’re consistently putting the needs of perfect strangers (clients) above those of people you have a long-time relationship with, even if that’s not the way you choose to think about it, people you care about will feel the sting of your underearning. And you can be sure, whoever it is, that they would never make the same choices as you if they were in your shoes.
  • Being in denial about financial issues (Passive) – I long ago lost count of the number of attorneys who’ve come to me through the years convinced that either: 1. Money issues are beneath them as an attorney, or 2. They’re just not good with money and that somehow, everything will work itself out.

    I’ve also seen first-hand a number of cases where: 1. Attorneys who feel that money issues are beneath them often end up buried by those same issues, and 2. Money troubles far too often “work themselves out” by causing attorneys to fall behind on taxes, or forcing them to borrow money to cover basic operating expenses. On occasion, I’ve even seen attorneys put out of business because of their financial problems.

    It’s not that you need an accounting degree to properly deal with financial issues at your firm, but it is essential that you at least know the basics about the state of your business. You should be reviewing the following financial reports on a regular basis:
    • Profit and loss statement – Monthly
    • Cash flow report – Weekly
    • Aged accounts report – Weekly
    • Balance sheet – At least quarterly
    The good news is that the best legal accounting programs today make it extraordinarily easy to get a big-picture view of your firm’s financial statements at just a glance, and allow you to “drill down” on individual items to better understand the numbers behind the numbers. Look for programs with dashboards that present detailed information in easy-to-understand charts or graphs if you’re not a “numbers” person.

    It’s your responsibility as a firm owner or partner to know enough to spot present or potential problems that could put you in danger of malpractice (in the case of trust accounting irregularities) or even worse, put you out of commission as an attorney.
  • Not taking credit cards (Passive) – Credit card companies charge small businesses something less than 4% per transaction to give their clients the convenience of paying for their bills with a quick swipe of a card. You can even attach a credit card reader to your smartphone to make it easier than ever for you and your clients.

    I consider taking credit cards to be a great service to legal clients today, and a godsend to attorneys. While I understand that some attorneys resent the transaction fee, I personally think it’s a fair trade-off for not having to worry about whether an invoice will be paid or not, not to mention that it’s money in your pocket that you might otherwise have to wait 30 days or more to collect.

    On top of that, taking credit cards helps clients who might otherwise not be able to pay for the legal representation they need when they most need it.

Now that we’ve gone over many of the ways attorneys fall into the underearning rut (and believe me, there are MANY more), let’s get to what really matters: Getting out of it. Let’s get started with a detailed seven-step plan for doing just that.

  1. Acknowledge that you’re earning below your potential.
    There’s hardly a self-help system in existence that doesn’t have you start with the basic acknowledgment that you have a problem as the first step. It can be very cathartic to let go of denial. It frees you from wasting energy that could otherwise be used for making your practice more successful.

    If your practice is not as financially successful as you would like it to be, it’s time to let go of the negative energy you’re expending to deny your underearning and turn it into the positive energy that can help you pull out of a bad situation. 
  2. Identify all the choices you make that cause you to underearn, both active and passive.
    Spend some time making a list of all the impediments to maximizing your earnings. Label each either active or passive actions.

    Try to determine what it is about each action or inaction that causes you to underearn:
    •  What do you get out of it?
    • What’s the payoff?
    Choose an accountability partner to help you in the process, someone whom you can:
    •  Trust to tell you the truth, but who is not personally affected by your underearning
    • Schedule regular check-ins with to make sure you’re staying on track 
  3. Set personal achievement goals and develop a plan to reach them.
    I’m a big believer that you have a much greater chance of success if you write out your goals (either on paper or on your computer), so I encourage you to take the time to write each one down, along with your plans for reaching that goal.

    Writing down goals – along with the means to achieve them – not only solidifies your commitment, it gives you a positive game plan to return to again and again. That written plan can be especially helpful during those times later when you find yourself backsliding to old behaviors or thoughts that made you an underearner in the first place.

For example, if you want to take home $100,000 this year (or whatever income number seems difficult, but achievable to you), how will you do that? A gentle warning: If you’re not a “numbers” kind of person, you may need help from your accountant or CPA with the first step.

  1. Determine which profitability factor(s) you need to alter to reach your goals:
    • The number of hours you bill
    • Your billing rate
    • Your billing realization rate (the percentage of fees billed that you actually collect)
  2. Share your goals with your accountability partner, along with your plans for reaching them.
  3. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal.
  4. Set one goal for yourself each day to work on to help correct underearning.
    As I hope I made clear earlier, you didn’t get to your present state of underearning overnight. And neither will you correct it in a day. The important thing is to start taking positive steps to correct it, however small they may seem.

    Each day, choose one item from your own personal list of underearning choices and resolve to take one positive action to correct it. A few of the small steps you can take may include:
    • Plan your entire work day ahead of time and protect your work time – If that means closingyour office door and ignoring phone and email messages for a few hours to gain a block of uninterrupted work time for billable tasks, that’s what you should do. If you’ve trained your staff appropriately to make decisions without your micromanagement, there’s little outside the actual practice of law that can’t be accomplished without you. It will require some discipline on everyone’s part, but it’s a good goal to start working toward.
    • Record all of your time contemporaneously, both billable and nonbillable – Like dieters who find success by keeping a diary of every bite of food that goes in their mouths, attorneys who make themselves conscious of every six-minute block of time can better understand how much time they may be wasting in a day. Even more importantly, you’ll learn exactly how much billable time you accumulate on each matter, so you can bill actual time on individual tasks and be able to answer any client questions about their bills fully and without delay. Recording time in six-minute increments also helps you build a library of data about how much time particular tasks actually take, rather than basing future estimates on guesswork. This is important no matter how you get paid: hourly fee, flat fee or contingent fee.
    • Eliminate timewasters – If you’re aware of the ways you waste working hours (looking out the window, playing computer games, hanging out in the break room chatting, etc.), resolve to eliminate your biggest timewaster for one day. If you’re not aware of where lost time may be disappearing, start with the suggestion above: “Record all your time contemporaneously, both billable and nonbillable.”
    • Periodically, throughout the day, ask yourself “What is the best use of my time right now?” Then adjust your work plan accordingly. 
  5. Block out some time every day to devote to the business side of your practice. 
    I understand that you didn’t become a lawyer so you could be saddled with smallbusiness chores every day, but you should make certain you’re not focusing only on the legal services you provide and ignoring the business side of your practice.

    As a practice owner or partner, it’s simply too easy to wake up one day and discover that you’re tens of thousands of dollars (or hundreds of thousands or more) in debt without even realizing it.

    Here are just a few of the firm management duties you must stay on top of to make sure you don’t allow the business side of your practice to destroy the legal side:
    • Know your realization rate. A good rule of thumb is that you should aim for a billing realization rate of 90% or higher.
    • Don’t let accounts receivable get beyond 30 days without a personal phone call to the client, followed by increasingly urgent dunning letters on a regular basis if payment is not forthcoming. If you have clients who haven’t paid within 60 days after billing, you need to have a serious conversation with each one personally to determine if there’s a problem. Reach agreement on a payment plan to bring the account current before ending the conversation.
    • Develop a budget for your practice, then figure out what you need to do each day to meet that budget (given the number of potentially billable hours/days in the year).
    • Know how much time you spend on initial consultations. While I realize that many attorneys perform such consultations free of charge, I personally don’t like free consultations. Attorneys always give legal advice during these consultations, even if it’s to say “you don’t really have a case here, so there’s nothing on which to take LexisNexis® | Number Four in the Making Your Practice Work for You Series legal action.” You are providing a valuable legal opinion, and you deserve to be paid for that. If you must provide free initial consultations, I recommend that you limit them to a maximum of 30 minutes, or start charging after 30 minutes.
    • Make sure client bills are sent promptly, and that they’re highly detailed and accurate so your clients understand exactly what they’re paying for.
    • Understand which types of clients and cases are more profitable for you and start working toward attracting more of them to your firm.
    • Limit pro bono work to a predetermined and carefully thought out number of hours or cases each year.
    • Develop systems to increase productivity and efficiency. I recommend that every solo attorney or small-firm partner read The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael Gerber, Robert Armstrong, JD and Sanford Fisch, JD. The book will help you create a simple approach to developing systems that will help you be more productive and profitable.
    • Gain a better understanding of what it takes to make your practice more profitable. I recommend a recent white paper I discovered: Driving Profitability Forward: How to get the money-making gears moving in the right direction, written by three veterans of law firm finances – Loretta Ruppert, Michael Wasco and Tyler Chapman.
    • Make a plan (develop a vision) for your practice to guide your business decisions. 
  6. Spend some time every day on marketing.
    Too many solo and small firm attorneys haven’t spent time putting together a strategic marketing plan for their individual practices. They tend to look around to see what others are doing, then just follow along in lockstep formation, regardless of whether or not the strategies others are using make sense for their personal practice.

    There are three basic errors I see attorneys making when it comes to marketing: 1. Not being clear on their Ideal Client Profile (i.e., specific identifiers of the clients they most enjoy or most want to serve), 2. Not understanding how best to reach their target market, and 3. Not working at their marketing on a regular basis.

    So what do I recommend? One of the best ways attorneys can market themselves is to get out in their communities and introduce themselves. Make a special point of meeting others who have direct contact with your target market. Develop reciprocal referral relationships with these folks and they’ll do much of your marketing for you.

    Find out where your potential clients shop, what groups they belong to, where they socialize, where they work, what hobbies they enjoy, where they do charitable work, what they do for fun, and so on. Make sure you are where they are – either in person, or by getting your name in front of them on a regular basis.

    I also recommend seeking out opportunities to lead workshops or create speaking engagements to help attract new clients who may have legal concerns. People buy from those they know, like and trust, so any opportunity to get in front of people personally is to your great advantage.

    Not every new introduction or speaking engagement will necessarily lead to clients with immediate needs, but if you’ve done a good job of getting them to know, like and trust you, they will remember you in the future when they, or a friend or family member need an attorney.

    Whatever your specific strategy for attracting new clients, whether it’s one of the ideas above, talking to a new media expert to explore the appropriate and tasteful use of social/local/mobile media options in your area, or looking into another avenue you’ve heard good feedback about, the important thing is to try to measure the results of different strategies so you can:
    • Focus on attracting your ideal client.
    • Put your time and money into the marketing strategies that provide you with the best return on investment.
    Remember that marketing is about sowing seeds. The payoff may not materialize for some time, but you have to keep working at it every day. If you slack off, you’ll have to play catchup for a long time in order to get back where you were before you let other things get in the way of your marketing activities.

    Finally, while no one is suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and dive in headfirst every time you hear about a new possibility for marketing your firm, I do suggest occasionally stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new ideas for marketing yourself. It can be an important factor in gaining new clients and climbing out of the underearning hole. 
  7. Delegate the tasks you shouldn’t be doing.
    Many solo and small-firm attorneys fall into the trap of thinking that they’re saving money by performing simple administrative tasks themselves. I found an excellent white paper on the subject that can very quickly change your mind about what you should and shouldn’t be doing yourself.

    The white paper, A Practice Owner’s Hierarchy of Tasks: 12 things to stop doing to start driving more revenue, was written by LexisNexis senior product manager and attorney Christopher T. Anderson, and I recommend it for any attorney who spends significant time performing non-attorney tasks to keep from having to hire others. Here’s a small excerpt from the paper that should help change your mind
    about how much money you’re “saving” by doing menial tasks yourself:
    • As a firm owner or partner, you should be spending your time on revenueproducing work, not looking after the day-to-day menial tasks you could easily hire a temp to do.

      Once you realize that you’re “earning” something in the area of minimum wage to perform all those lowest-value tasks yourself, it’s pretty easy to make the case that earning hundreds of dollars an hour building your business or working as an attorney makes a lot more sense. Remember, time you spend on lower-value tasks is time you’ll never get back to spend on high-value tasks (or to spend with family, friends or loved ones).

Here are just a few of the tasks you should be hiring others to do so you can use your time more productively and profitably taking care of your clients or building your practice:

  • Bookkeeping – Accounting tasks, preparing monthly bills, handling payroll…
  • Clerical work – Preparing routine correspondence, filing, photocopying, indexing files…
  • Designing and updating your website

BONUS TIP: Make a deliberate choice to bill 15 more minutes every day.

At $200 an hour, this one simple behavioral change can add well over $10,000 to your bottom line this year. Think you can’t possibly find another 15 minutes per day to perform billable legal work? Consider the following timesavers as a good place to start:

  • Get better organized
  • Stop procrastinating on a billable task in favor of some non-revenue-producing task
  • Use your smartphone or tablet when you’re outside the office to handle billable tasks
  • Limit the number of times you check email each day, and the amount of time you spend reading and responding (email can be an enormous time drain and is better consigned to specific times in the day)
  • Let someone else open the mail
  • Eliminate your biggest timewaster

Small steps. Big results.

Who would have ever thought that taking such a seemingly insignificant step as billing an extra 15 minutes a day would help you add $10,000 or more to your yearly income?

Yet the vast majority of attorneys who come to me about their underearning problems assume they’ll have to make wholesale changes to the way they manage their practices to find their way out of the financial hole they’ve dug themselves into. In some cases, that may be true. In others, it may be simply a matter of getting better at recording time, or being more selective in taking on only clients who fit their Ideal Client Profile and can afford to pay for their legal services, any number of small steps that can help you take giant leaps in maximizing your earnings.

Whichever the case, the most important step is simply getting started. There’s no need to feel trapped, lost or depressed about your future. I’ve made it my life’s work to help solo and small firm attorneys find their way back to financial success, and I believe it can happen in almost every case.

That’s not to say you’ll necessarily find a straight line to success. It’s merely to say that there is a path and it’s worth the effort to find and follow it.

The world needs good attorneys. If you’re one of them, I hope you’ll take the steps necessary to escape the underearning trap so you can continue practicing and afford the life you, your family and other members of your firm deserve.

About the author

Ann Guinn

With over 35 years of experience in the legal field, starting as a legal secretary, Ann Guinn has helped hundreds of attorneys discover how to overcome the underearning trapthat keeps them from providing the life they, their families and their firm members want for themselves. She is the author of Minding Your Own Business: The Solo and Small Firm Lawyer’s Guide to a Profitable Practice (ABA
2010) available at www.americanbar.org. She also travels the country conducting seminars, webinars and CLEs, as well as leading practice-building groups. Ms. Guinn makes herself available as a practice management and underearning consultant for solo and small firm attorneys across the country. She can be contacted at 253.946.1896 or by email: ann@annguinnconsulting.com.

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