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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...