During the Labor Day holiday, we spent some time traveling to several “food spots” in Los Angeles that were highlighted by the food editor of the Los Angeles Times. One of them was Bulgarini Gelato, maker of one of the best gelato delights we have had; another was The Oinkster, serving pulled pork as good as can be found in Kansas City. Hope you had a relaxing and regenerating holiday.
-Have a Marketing Plan
-Consider the commonality between you and prospective clients.
-Play the Numbers Game
-The more people you can get in front of; the better the chance of someone engaging you.
-Build a quality referral sources
-Understand that people learn differently
-Connect with other professions who share your market
As we begin to look at how the profession will change in 2015 and beyond, we must look at the Australian market. Here, large accounting firms are adding major law practice components to their stable of professionals. In at least two instances, more than 100 lawyers were engaged by accounting firms. Multi-disciplinary connections are back on the table. While this will not happen overnight in the U.S., it’s clear that we cannot ignore these changes outside of our borders. This is especially true for the larger law firms that want to compete in the Asia-Pacific market; I’m sure there will also be a ripple impact here.
Ed offers 5 ways to increase your law firm’s revenue.
1. Emphasize collections.
2. Hire lateral lawyers to meet specific demands, a new practice area, a new need.
3. Leverage technology.
4. Create a cooperative compensation model that emphasizes the law firm as an institution.
5. Outsource functions that are better done by others. Delegate.
At some point, you will say, “What kind of life do I want to live?” In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (Thursday, August 14, 2014), a retired “workaholic” entrepreneur said “’You cannot not have a plan when you retire.’”
He turned to retirement; though he didn’t plan it that way, he traded his many hours of daily work for golf, playing each and every day for 365 days. He said “One obsession prepared me for (another).”
The writer then continues, “All this makes me wonder: What do pro golfers do when they retire?”
Richard Susskind said: “What I often say is that the future of law is not Rumpole of the Bailey, and it’s not John Grisham. It’s not a version of what we have today slightly tweaked. It will be people working in the legal sector but offering legal services and legal help in new ways.” It may be the end of the profession as immortalised (sic) in courtroom dramas, but as software eats the old jobs it will have to create new ones too.
Yes, I agree that technology will cause the delivery of legal services to altered, that legal services will be delivered more effectively and more efficiently … and perhaps even less expensively.
But, the real gravamen of the lawyer’s work is the analysis of the issues at hand, understanding the real needs and wants (not necessarily the same things) of the client and achieving the desired result. The desired result is hardly ever the result of technology … it still requires the mental acumen of the lawyer!
The unauthorized practice of law is a major concern of bar associations as is evidenced by the North Carolina Bar Association’s litigation with Legal Zoom and its current effort to redefine the term. This effort is one more example of the shifting ground impacting lawyers and their economic security. Does the entry of software and “publications” help or hurt lawyers, help or hurt consumers? Here is one opinion.
The business cycle consists of three elements: marketing to get the new client and retain the old client; production to produce and deliver the legal service, advice and/or documents; and finance to collect your billings and operate your firm. The first two tend to be the focus of most lawyers. Billings and collections tend to be ignored or given short shrift or delegated to a staff member with less interest and skill.
One statistic shows that sole practitioners spend 40% of their time in non-billing tasks, such as marketing, billing, collections and other aspects of running the law practice. In firms of 11 to 20 lawyers, the percent falls dramatically to 8%. Hence, the larger firm earns more money. They produce more effort; they bill more; and, even with poor collection efforts, they will likely collect more revenue than their solo counterparts.
Perhaps you should engage personnel to deal with some of the non-billing tasks, whether internally or outsourced and/or perhaps you should consider practice management software as your assistant. Failure to attain the appropriate resources to enhance your production efforts and non-billing needs is cheating yourself. Coaching will help you understand how to address these issues.