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...

Firms Can Control Whether Clients Stay or Go

While the managers of professional services firms often view market pressures as the driving force that determines whether clients remain loyal or choose to shop elsewhere for added services, a study by the Redwood Think Tank indicates that firms have tremendous sway over which clients become long-term...

Going Paperless

Many law firms are making plans to go paperless, and many more are expressing interest in the concept. But not many of these companies are considering how they'll move all those e-papers from person to person-with accountability and without impacting their email systems. Good distribution is the...

E-Billing Primer

Since the arrival of the desktop computer, companies have anticipated the paperless offi ce. For corporate law departments, the emergence of e-billing solutions has helped reduce the amount of paper flowing through the organization. The "For Services Rendered" bills of the past have evolved...

Selecting a Practice Management System

Determine the functions that you need and then find a solution that fits your requirements and empowers everyone in your firm to work more productively "Where did the time go?" "Where did that file go?" "Is my contact list current?" "Does this client present...

Going Paperless

Distribution: The key to a successful paperless initiative Many law firms are making plans to go paperless, and many more are expressing interest in the concept. But not many of these companies are considering how they'll move all those e-papers from person to person-with accountability and without...

Law Firm Business Continuity and Contingency Planning

Establishing contingency plans to maintain daily access to your critical information and ensure that your business functions are available to customers, no matter what, lays a solid foundation and prepares your firm for any disaster, natural or manmade For small law firms, the need to keep your doors...

Reducing Liability Exposure

How the right software and management processes can help you avoid clerical errors and keep malpractice problems at bay A review of the 9,221 LAWPRO-listed claims made between 1999 and 2004, covering all practice areas, shows that only 10% of these claims involved a failure to know or apply the law...

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...

Surviving Disasters: Questions and Considerations for Law Firms Preparing Business Continuity Plans

What if you couldn't gain access to your office for the next week ... or month? Sounds simplistic, but these are fundamental questions law firms must address. A range of possible disasters-from the obscure, like computer viruses, burst pipes and downed power lines, to the page-one natural (and man...

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...

Cracking the Acorn Theory: Do Small Clients Grow To Be Big Clients?

Many law firms have a theory. Winning a small amount of work from a desirable client can be a good way to bring that client into the firm’s fold and begin a new relationship. Over time, the theory goes, if this client is nurtured properly, it can be coaxed to provide increasing amounts of work...

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...

Client “Deciles” Help Focus Strategy

Research conducted by the Redwood Think Tank confirms what many business consultants tell law firm managers — that they should be judicious in devoting resources to small clients. Data indicates that small clients rarely grow into large clients and perform worse than large clients across multiple...

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...

Client Attrition: Tools to Stem the Trickle of Lost Work

One of the best ways to hone a firm’s business strategy is to dig deeper into the assumptions relied upon to devise that firm’s business strategy. At the Redwood Think Tank, we reported not too long ago that law firms, on average, lose work from existing clients at the rate of 1% per month...

Client Size and Profitability: Do They Go Hand in Hand?

Concentrate on your key clients – a familiar mantra to many a law firm manager looking to boost the bottom line. But which clients should a firm designate as key? Where do you draw the line? Firms derive the vast majority of their work from their largest clients. But an ironic–and sometimes...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Client Feedback Pointers

Seeking client feedback is not only important for every law firm, but it needs to be done right. Following a recent post of mine on the topic, my friend Stacy West Clark raised some issues that got me to thinking about the Who, What, When, Why's and How's of getting client feedback...

Clients Still Hire Lawyers Not Law Firms, So Get Off Your Duff!

Over the years I have met many a lawyer who wasn't into marketing or sales. The reason: the firm will do it. Well, the firm can't do it. Individual lawyers must, because clients continue to hire lawyers, not law firms. In a recent article entitled "How to Make It Rain By Marketing...