The practice of law is service oriented, with lawyers tirelessly working to provide quality representation to their clients. But if you plan to continue serving your community, you must also consider your firm’s profit margins. While the most common tactic for increased profits is bringing in more clients, there are other viable strategies for reaching this goal. Look beyond the obvious and you may find some extra profits where you least expect them.
- A paperless law office – Do you have a clear picture of how much money you spend on paper-related expenses each month? Not only are you paying for reams and reams of paper, you are also spending valuable dollars on such expenses as storage, equipment rentals, and labor. A paperless law office offers numerous advantages, including profit-escalating cost saving potential.
- Change up your fee structure – The traditional billable hour may be impeding your profit potential. More and more clients are resisting these types of fee arrangements, instead turning to firms that offer flat fee arrangements or at least some combination of fixed fee and hourly arrangements. Consider making changes to your fee structure for increased efficiency and happier clients.
- Go remote – Working remotely can have a significant impact on your overhead, and works particularly well with certain practice areas. With the right equipment and software in place, you can easily complete tasks from anywhere in the world, without the added cost of rent and utilities.
- Get on trend – Our society is constantly changing and the savvy lawyer recognizes the new practice area opportunities that accompany these changes. Look at new trends and regulation changes as opportunities to expand your law firm offerings. Has marijuana recently been legalized in your state? These new businesses need attorneys. Why shouldn’t they choose your law firm?
- Of-counsel arrangements – A growing workload is a great thing, but you may feel overwhelmed by the extra tasks. Before you make the decision to bring on a new attorney, consider entering into an of-counsel agreement. It’s potentially a great way to get the help you need without the added costs of bring on a full-time employee.
- Reevaluate your clientele – Every client isn’t a good client. Some have unreasonable expectations, while others refuse to cooperate, instead frustrating your efforts. These are the types of clients who may be taking more from your practice than their compensation is worth. Use a critical eye when bringing on new clients and don’t be afraid to let go of current clients when appropriate for your practice.
- Use your staff- Your law firm staff is essential to your practice for numerous reasons. An effective staff is able to handle efficient law office management tasks, so that you can handle more lucrative tasks and increase profits. Paralegals can handle more substantive tasks, potentially allowing you to expand your practice and increase your profits.
Increased profit is more than just bringing in more money. It also involves lowering your costs and overhead expenses. With a few out-of-the-box strategies, your practice can begin seeing increased profits in no time.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.
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