Georgetown Law School’s Center for the Study of the Legal Profession recently suggested that earlier realization rates of 92% have gone down to a historic low of 85%. That means for every dollar billed, the law firm is collecting only 85 cents.
My suspicion is that these numbers are reflective of "Big Law," and not the profession as a whole, certainly not the sole practitioner who comprises the bulk of the profession. That is why I wrote: Collecting Your Fee: Getting Paid from Intake to Invoice, published by the American Bar Association. Few lawyers understand the difference and fewer can cite the numbers from their own law practice. This is an area where additional revenue can be obtained easily, merely by paying attention to your clients payment records and understanding who doesn’t pay your full bill and why … and then dealing with this issue. This is one of the most challenging issues in my coaching/consulting practice…helping lawyers be more effective with their clients and receive a higher percentage of their billings from satisfied clients.