How to Manage Your Law Office: Internal Controls

Internal controls are important to prevent error and ensure integrity of accounting records as well as to reduce the risk of misappropriation of assets (fraud). A good system of internal controls protects both the firm and its employees. Designing such a system requires one to consider the resources...

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...

How Healthy Is Your Inventory?

All businesses that accumu­late material amounts of ac­counts receivable ("A/R") rely on metrics that measure the turnover of those receivable balances as a gauge of risk and li­quidity. One of the most common metrics used is what many indus­tries call Days Sales Outstanding...

Normalizing Mix Variables in Law Firm Financial Data

Most law firm managers understand the importance that business analysis plays in steering a firm toward success. However, as with so many things in life, a little bit of analysis can be a dangerous thing. Management reporting processes typically collect, organize, and ultimately combine data sets...

Increasing Collection Rates

Good billing practices can help you get paid for the work you've done and improve your client relationships in the process One common experience for small and mid-sized law firms is the growing amount of receivables. Usually, there are two reasons why bills don't get paid on time or at all...

7 Tips to Manage Your Legal Spend

Recent surveys reveal that the second greatest challenge faced by corporate law departments is controlling their budgets, with a large part of the struggle attributed to spending on outside counsel. With increasing demand for legal services, rising law firm fees, and stagnant budgets, corporate law departments...

Milking a Cash Cow

With all of the reporting capabilities of sophisticated time and billing systems, it is easy to lose sight of the most basic rule of law firm economics: Cash in must exceed cash out. To that end, one of the most valuable assets any business can have is a cash cow. Yet, many law firms never benefit from...

7 Tips to Manage Your Legal Spend

Recent surveys reveal that the second greatest challenge faced by corporate law departments is controlling their budgets, with a large part of the struggle attributed to spending on outside counsel. With increasing demand for legal services, rising law firm fees, and stagnant budgets, corporate law departments...

Increasing Collection Rates

Good billing practices can help you get paid for the work you've done and improve your client relationships in the process One common experience for small and mid-sized law firms is the growing amount of receivables. Usually, there are two reasons why bills don't get paid on time or at all...

Gaining Firm Acceptance of a Profitability Model

As law firms grow in size, and expand geographically and across practice areas, the use of firm-wide profitability tools has become a business necessity. But understanding the urgency to adopt or update a profitability model doesn't guarantee its successful implementation. The road to success...

Gaining Confidence in Alternative Billing

The tide appears to have turned in favor of alternative billing solutions. Amid the continued economic tumult, firms are responding as never before to client demands for more creative pricing. As these arrangements play out, however, some firms are likely to find the deals they've struck are less...

The Future Value of Today’s Inventory

Most law firm managers understand intui­tively that the value of inventory (both WIP and A/R) degrades over time, but by how much and how quickly? The ability to un­derstand and answer these two questions is the first step in preparing a realistic, forward-looking valuation model - one that can...

LexisNexis Tips Series: Mastering the Basics of Alternative Fee Arrangements

Rising client demand for alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) has forced an increasing number of law firms to move away from the hourly billing model. In many respects, firms are implementing AFAs in rather entrepreneurial fashion without benefit of proper planning and controls, says Norm Mullock of LexisNexis...

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...

Is It “Alternative Fee Arrangements” or “Value-Based Billing?”

Yes. There has been discussion over the past months as to whether the better term for non-hourly billing is "alternative fee arrangements" or "value-based billing." The answer is yes, and yes. The first "yes" is an increasing number of firms and clients - not a majority...

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...

Legal Project Management Can Help You Get the Fees You Deserve

Many lawyers are reluctant to discuss money with clients upfront. I know when I practiced, it was a topic I would shy away from as much as possible. But, in this day and age, that is less of an option. Clients are more demanding regarding what they will be charged. Bob Denney has an article on...

Partners: Start Your (Marketing) Engines

According to the "Firms in Transition Survey 2011" reported on Law360 on Tuesday "unproductive and underproductive partners" (read non-rainmakers) will be cut by 20% of the law firm responding to the Altman Weil (no follow) survey this year. The good news is that the percentage...

What Does “Cost” Mean?

The always interesting 3 Geeks blog had a post the other morning about the procurement function in legal in general and reverse auctions in particular . The bigger question is this: Should clients buy legal services based on cost? 1 I don't want to argue the question itself here. (The...