Report Card: What Do the Numbers Say About Your Law Firm?

Lawyers make ad hoc decisions about business management , all the time .  But, those decisions are often wrong – because they’re built on false assumptions about how the business works .  Attorneys often overestimate how much money they make, and underestimate how much money they pay out, in terms of case expenses and overhead .  That leads to a lot of disappointment, as you might imagine.   But, there is a pathway to make better decisions about how to run a law firm – and, as it turns out, the data’s right there in front of you .  Most law firms are using case management software or accounting software, which is where law firm financial data is arrayed .  The majority of attorneys capture that information for tax and billing purposes only ; but, they don’t use it for anything else .  But, each of those systems include custom reports and useful dashboards , that can provide you insight into the financial health of your law firm .  Want to know how much you have racked up

Trail Mix: Capturing Client Data is a Broader Conversation Now

It’s always been important for law firms to archive the entire set of communications between attorneys, staff and clients (and leads).     And, that’s become easier to do, over time, as technology has advanced .     The cloud made it easier to access that data across devices and in different places ; it also democratized the buy-in and continuing costs for law firm technology, so more law firms could access it.   Case management software, as a relational database, allowed for attorneys to capture data across systems, and organize it via matters.     Customer relationship management software exists, in part, so that attorneys can aggregate lead data.     Even texting, typically done on lawyers’ own smartphones, has made it into the official record, as it were – because there are now business texting applications, and many softwares are building in text messaging as a feature.     This is important for two main reasons .  First, the more easily you can click on a case file, and r

Melting Pot: Should Law Firms Start Hiring More Non-Lawyers?

Hiring is rough right now .  And, that turned around in a heartbeat.  Over the course of a single quarter, the employer’s market become an employee’s market – with no signs of slowing down.  It’s got law firms everywhere rethinking how and why they hire.   One trend that is manifesting is that attorneys are beginning to expand their vision of who can and should be hired by a law firm, by looking at non-traditional roles within the law firm.     For the most part, law firms have hired for three roles: lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff .  But, as law firms begin to reformulate how they operate , that has opened up roles for human resource managers, chief operating officers, chief financial officers, sales directors, intake specialists, customer success associates, and similar roles – that you far more often see in technology companies.     In some cases, these new hires are cheaper and carry less baggage than do attorneys .  In some cases, they have training and a skill