As a business owner, you want what's best for your law practice and its employees. Make informed decisions about growing your law firm by examining the tips below.
Is your primary goal to grow your law firm? You may be facing increased business demands for your kind of work. Making business development the focal point of your efforts may bring a better ability to attract new clients and drive revenue growth.
Your focus is to hire new staff to meet changing times or the growth of competitors. You might already be feeling the pinch of not being able to give the business side of your law firm the attention it deserves.
Whatever your reasons for growth, have them clearly in mind to give you a purpose and milestones for the road ahead.
Create an Efficient Workflow
Efficiency is key to growth. When you learn how to run a law firm like a business, you develop tactics that will apply to any company. In this sense, managing a law firm is like running any business across any industry. Law firms with successful growth strategies often implement the following methods.
Define Your Focus
Specialize in a specific practice area to gain the expert label in your field. You may focus on employment law, civil rights cases, personal injury, or another area.
With a specialty, you can gain experience and a network of contacts that will increase your efficiency. Your firm’s knowledge, reputation, and specialized legal expertise will grow organically.
Provide Clear Leadership
Your people are one of your greatest assets. Value your employees by working to improve your management skills.
Only some people are natural leaders. There's no shame in that; take steps to increase your skill through education courses online or at a university. The staff at your law firm will appreciate efforts to provide a good work environment and a positive culture.
Allow your team members to improve themselves through professional development. Mentoring, continuing education funding, and conference trips can be good ways to offer employees the chance to self-improve.
Create a list of SOPs – standard operating procedures that all legal team members understand and hold them accountable for following them.
Standard operating procedures may include a set pattern for tasks like:
- Client onboarding
- Document handling and scheduling
- Time tracking
- Trial prep procedures
- Filing and retention of client documents
When there is one “right way” to do tasks in your organization, it will simplify and organize every aspect of client interaction. And it will give you a greater view of your legal case process and limit inconsistencies in handling cases.
Maintain Accurate Accounting
Accurate accounting is important for any business, and law firms are no exception. Invest in a good billing and payments solution that can take multiple payment methods, including credit cards, e-checks, and payments from trust accounts.
Many clients may try to let their legal bills go unpaid for as long as possible. Don't add to the problem by being inefficient in your invoicing practices.
Know Your Key Performance Indicators
How do you know if you and your firm are succeeding? Is the measurement based on the addition of new clients, increased revenue, or higher profit margins? Gather and analyze data metrics regularly to ensure you are reaching or exceeding your goals.
Track hours worked versus billable hours to measure how efficiently your associates and partners work. Review your income through the lens of case type to see which cases generate the most revenue for your company.
You can make informed business decisions for growing your law practice using simple data mining techniques.
Technology is one of the fastest-growing fields today. And it can be a key to your growth too. Invest in the right tech and software to streamline your law firm’s business operations.
Simplify time management and billing, automate document creation and storage, and gain easy communication options with the right tools. Legal practice management software can allow for managing remote workers too.
Prioritize Task Delegation
You can’t do it all. And you shouldn’t try. That’s the path that leads to burnout and stagnation. What's more, it's different from how to run a successful law firm. Good leaders know when to delegate to their team.
It’s time to take a hard look at the workload that you’ve been covering. Are there items you handle because that's what you've always done? Is someone else on your team qualified to complete it, or could you be trained to do so?
Offloading some nonessential items to your associates may allow the tasks to be completed more quickly. Or it may take them the same amount of time but free you to handle something of more importance.
Many law practices outsource taxes to accountants. But could you also outsource payroll, invoicing, and bill collection to an outside professional or a dedicated employee?
Good law firms stay efficient with their growth strategies by staying calm in business accounting details. Leave that to the professionals.
However, keep sight of the state of your affairs. Understand where your bottom line is but employ the help of trusted people that can focus on the money side of your business.
Specific tools on the market today can help attorneys manage and organize case documents and notes. Cloud-based software options can provide scheduling, time tracking, and client communication from one interface.
These software options may include a client portal that provides transparency and insight into the state of their case. That not only adds to the client's convenience but also saves you valuable time.
Your office's front desk staff provides the client's first interaction with your firm. Can they be trained in customer service duties like providing update requests on cases and inquiries on lawsuit timelines?
You can delegate office management or other administrative duties to this support personnel. Investigate tools and software that could help your staff become more effective too.
Know When It’s Time to Hire
One of the most important business decisions you will face is hiring additional staff for the firm. With the right people surrounding you, growth focus will be easier, if possible. If you find yourself so stressed and overwhelmed by too much work on your desk, you may need to consider hiring.
However, it’s important to take your time and seek out traits in potential team members that meet your business needs. Honesty, resourcefulness, and a team-centric attitude add to the reliability of new employees.
Hiring a full-time associate is one of many ways to add to your workforce. Alternative work sources might handle some tasks. Consider if outside legal professionals like freelance lawyers or other qualified individuals may be retained for some duties.
Considering Litigation Financing For Your Law Practice
Funding can be a challenge if you want to maintain steady growth. One avenue of capital may be litigation financing to help cover case expenses.
What is Litigation Financing?
Litigation financing provides financial resources to law firms to pay for the experts, medical records, and other case expenses they need to fund in order to win the case for their client. We offer law firm financing at an annual cost of Less than 1%*. Advocate Capital’s case expense funding clients pay us monthly for the interest on their line balance. When a case concludes, the firm uses the proceeds from the case to pay the principal borrowed for case expenses. If implemented properly, the cost to your firm is next to nothing because your firm is able to recoup the borrowing costs at the successful conclusion of every case that you win.
How Can Litigation Financing Help?
Litigation financing for law firms can help to maintain liquidity. Law firm funds do not need to be tied up in paying case expenses while you await the settlement phase to recoup your capital.
Having a litigation finance provider can help your practice compete with competitors and insurance companies.
Litigation funding allows you to spend more time and energy on your clients rather than your finances, which will benefit your practice and your cases
With decades of experience helping contingent-fee lawyers gain the capital they need to pursue their cases, Advocate Capital is a partner worth having.
We hope you've benefited from these tips on growing your law firm and taking it to the next level. Identify your reason for growing your firm and take steps to operate it efficiently. Delegate tasks to reliable employees and expand your team at the right time.
Contact Advocate Capital today! Let us help you secure the litigation funding you need to grow your practice with a safe and reliable cash flow.
* In most jurisdictions, a law firm can recover finance charges related to funding case expenses from case awards, but the compliance requirements can be too expensive to implement. Only Advocate Capital, Inc. has the proprietary AdvoTrac® expense tracking system and service team that allows firms to easily comply with allocation and reporting requirements. So, for example, if a firm recovers at least 90% of its advanced case expenses, like most of our clients, the annual net cost of funds is very small-typically less than 1%. Contact us to discuss how our program can work for your firm. All loans are subject to credit approval, and terms and conditions may vary.