Legal Business

Quality is a firm-wide issue

This is the second in a series of seven posts about the elements of successful quality assurance programs in law firms.

It only takes one hole to sink a ship, not a hole in every compartment.  If one practice group - or even one lawyer - has a vulnerability, the same or similar weaknesses probably exist elsewhere in the firm. A firm-wide approach to quality assurance therefore usually produces the best return on the investment of time, resources, and attention.

To carry the maritime analogy forward, we observe two principal types of "leaks" in law firms with poor quality assurance. Like many leaks, each one can go unnoticed for months or years while it does major damage to a law firm's financial seaworthiness.

Reduced productivity

"We can always find time to fix our mistakes, but we can never find time to prevent them."

Most law firms rely primarily on after-the-fact inspection to catch and correct mistakes, particularly in documents. Such rework can consume as much as 40% of the time of fee earners and staff. Since most clients are unwilling to pay the law firm to correct its own mistakes, every hour spent in rework represents a revenue-producing opportunity that is lost forever.

Law firms that have introduced serious, systematic quality assurance systems and procedures have found that the resulting improvements in productivity can produce substantially increased fee revenue without proportional increases in staff. This results in dramatic improvements in profitability.

To read the entire post, visit the Walker Clark Worldview Blog.