How to Manage Your Law Office: Types of Fees

Hourly fees are the predominant billing method used by law firms. Beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s, some clients began to object to this method and to any form of lawyer billing rate increase. Fueled by a recession and growing consumer sophistication, the fees charged by lawyers came under...

Group Practice Organization

In small firms, informality is often the rule. The partners may make a series of decisions regarding many aspects of their practice without a great deal of overall planning. There are few employees, hence, personnel policies may be less formal, within legal constraints. Toward clients, there is a close...

Potential of Integrating Lateral Non-equity Partners

It is no secret that the integration of lateral talent into a law firm often results in a bumpy ride for the firm and the lateral lawyer coming aboard. A study by The Redwood Think Tank emphasizes the profitability gains that can be realized from taking a more strategic approach to lateral integration...

Practice Groups as Part of Organizational Structure

Practice groups have become the driving element for strategy development and implementation. However, experience shows that many firms are frustrated with the effectiveness of practice group operations, with the implementation of practice group planning and with the management/leadership of practice...

Forms of Organization: Centralized vs. Decentralized

Generally, the centralized departments are located in a corporate headquarters and provide legal services for the company in all of its enterprises and locations. In the decentralized law department, the headquarters contains only a general counsel and a few legal specialists. Operating divisions or...

Personnel Policies and the Employee Handbook

It is important for efficient management and good employee relations that an employer have carefully considered and clearly stated personnel policies which are communicated to the staff. A number of personnel policies are affected by various labor laws, both federal and state, and some, such as those...

Power Up Your Firm’s Diversity Strategy: Employ BI to Fill the Information Gaps

Diversity is now squarely a priority for law firms. Many law firms have diversity committees, and many have hired diversity directors. Much attention has been paid to firm recruitment and promotion processes. Mission statements, web sites and policies have been rewritten. Unfortunately, few firms have...

Suddenly Solo Law Firms

How to start, run, and grow a successful business when-by choice or chance-you're going it alone For some attorneys, being a solo practioner is an ambition they've been lucky enough to act on. For others, it can be an unexpected reality brought on by downsizing and hiring freezes in a shaky...

Training Tips to Maximize Your Software Investment

How to leverage formal vendor training to optimize your firm's software investment and minimize your time and costs Finding the right practice management software is just part of the challenge for a small law firm. The next step is mastering it-and that applies to everyone involved. As a best...

Managing Associate Recruitment & Development

With the cost structure of firms under assault like never before, every investment must be examined for the potential to improve efficiencies. Because associate recruitment and development represent such significant costs, firms stand to reap big savings by taking a more strategic approach to these activities...

Law Firm Succession Planning

What best practices in the accounting profession can teach small law firms about "passing the torch" A recent article in the Journal of Accountancy offers timely succession planning insights for certified public accountants, which are equally relevant for attorneys who own their own practices...

Integration, Training & Professional Development

Employers have an enormous stake in the transition from law school to law practice. If personnel costs are the firm's largest expense, and people are its most important assets, it is good business to make every effort to protect such valuable assets. Too often new associates are brought into a firm...

Moneyball Indeed!

Research by Kerma Partners and the Redwood Think Tank shows that incorporating "success factors" into law firm recruiting can have a big impact on firm profits. Read full article authored by James Bergin and Ron Paquette.

Law Firm Succession Planning

A recent article in the Journal of Accountancy offers timely succession planning insights for certified public accountants, which are equally relevant for attorneys who own their own practices. In "A 2009 Tuneup for Your Firm's Succession Planning", Dominic Cingoranelli writes: "The...

Optimize Your Small, Specialized Law Firm

A few simple rules that you probably didn't learn in law school can take the hassles out of your day-to-day practice management tasks for a better business outcome Most law schools will teach you how to be an attorney-but not how to build a viable practice. The day-to-day realities of managing...

Leverage: The Secret to Increased Profitability

As most legal professionals have discovered, many of the cultural distinctions that have long separated law firms from the business world, when examined more closely, have turned out to be based upon myth rather than the realities of practicing law. One of these myths is that leverage does not significantly...

A Radical Future For The Legal Industry?

Rory Webber, Martindale-Hubbell Connected's Marketing & Community Development Manager interviews legal journalist and MH Connected member, Richard Parnham. In today's difficult economy, many law firms are focusing on how to survive over the next few months. But good times will - hopefully...

Will the Future Associate be a Contract Employee?

The future of the legal profession is full of uncertainty. Will the old habits return as they did after previous recessions, or will these changes be permanent? No one knows for sure, but there are some possibilities and trends to take notice of. Cost Cutting: First of all, corporations have become...

The top ten ways for lawyers to increase client satisfaction

In the current economy, other lawyers will be coming after your clients. Every lawyer would therefore be well advised to increase client satisfaction and protect the relationships that ultimately pay your salary, bonus, and rent. You can't make clients too happy. Review these best practices from...

Case study of a law firm failure… and its aftermath

The final demise of the British firm Halliwells, reported last week in the on-line edition of The Lawyer , is a good case study in the financial failure of a law firm. The Lawyer summarized the factors that led to Halliwells' failure earlier this month . The failure and breakup of Halliwells is...