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...

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...

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...

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...

Is Discovery Being Managed Properly? Document Collection

The sixth in a series of articles about how to reduce litigation costs while getting better results. The following is adapted from Chapter III.B.2 of Bensen & Myers on Litigation Management . Outside of trial, discovery is usually, indeed almost invariably, the most expensive part of a litigation...

Client Service As a Business Development Strategy

Doing Good & Building Your Practice Big Time Creating and fostering excellent relationships is the key to becoming a rainmaker. Providing existing clients with extraordinary service is every attorney's and law firms' ticket for prosperity. Client Service by the Numbers Providing...

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...

Getting serious about associate profitability

Associate profitability could be the most important management issue for many - maybe even most - law firms over the next three to five years. One of the central features of law firms that have managed to increase profits against declining fee revenues has been a serious inquiry into the profitability...

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...