Amid rising pressure to increase revenues and profitability, lawyers are beginning to focus more on improving the processes they use to run their firms.
Alternative fee agreements (AFAs) are now commonplace and widely accepted in the legal industry. According to the Washington Post, 80% of law firm leaders now believe that these non-hourly billing options are a permanent change to the legal industry—compared with only 28% in 2009.
The relationship between firms and technology is complicated, to put it mildly. While many firms already own advanced technology solutions, they are failing to properly train, integrate and adopt these systems into their practices.
The key to getting the most out of your LPM strategy is to start implementing LPM then step back and look at where the process is helping you better understand your business.
Often, the business advice given to firms overlooks some very basic steps that can quickly improve their performance. The term “strategic planning” may sound abstract, but if pursued in an intelligent way, it can effectively address many of your firm’s everyday challenges.
It’s natural to compare your firm to others, particularly when they are direct competitors. But what metrics are you using to determine if your firm compares favorably? There’s a tendency in law to evaluate success or failure anecdotally, rather than examining the cold, hard facts and figures. In the business world the term “benchmarking” describes the process of dispassionately measuring a company’s performance against industry standards, and it’s now […]
Everyone experiences fear of change. It’s natural—it protects us from dangerous, impulsive mistakes and ensures that we won’t abandon what has worked in the past. That fear, however, can also become a debilitating obstacle to advancement.
As we approach the holiday season, we at Aderant strive to look beyond our company and consider how we can impact the communities in which we live. In reflecting on the charitable and giving spirit of the season, the long-established practice of legal pro bono work came to mind.
Briefing, published by the Legal Support Network talks to Karen Bailey, head of solutions consulting EMEA for Aderant, about combining business intelligence and matter management tools to make a great leap forward in pricing and profitability.
In my opinion, stability takes on two important forms in this context—financial stability and leadership stability. Without financial stability and access to capital investment in product development, innovation becomes very challenging.
Mobile technology has certainly changed the way most of us work and our expectations on how software should behave.
Since there is a finite limit to cutting expenses to increase profitability, I would suggest that firms look to grow profitability by analyzing and negotiating more profitable fees with current and prospective clients.
If you had to choose one metric that reflected your firm’s overall health, would it be revenues or profits? Firms often make the mistake of focusing just on revenues, operating under the assumption that greater revenue means greater profitability when, in fact, their profitability is the key metric.
Why do revenue totals receive so much attention? According to Edge International Consultants, revenue is simply easier for firms to calculate. And […]
For many college graduates, the decision to apply to law school is not as automatic as it used to be. Many legal experts and commentators have declared that the “law school bubble” has burst, and that students should look long and hard before taking on the time and debt necessary to obtain a J.D.
In this transitional market some firms have recognized that there are great opportunities for growth if they can successfully identify, manage and mitigate their risks.
Hardly a week goes by where news of a big merger, or at least rumors of a merger, doesn’t shake the legal world. Last month featured the merger of Squire Sanders with Patton Boggs to form “Squire Patton Boggs”. According to the Am Law Daily the combined firm will cover 53 cities worldwide with 1,550 lawyers, making it the 21st-largest firm worldwide.
I’m not at all surprised by this trend. […]
A technology vendor somehow manages to oversimplify or overcomplicate an issue and operates at a distance. Conversely, a partner will always try to resolve issues, make your working life easier, and find simple solutions to complex problems. As the proverb goes, “If something sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.”
Few would argue that social media is rapidly changing every aspect of our daily lives. Mobile technology has transformed the way we communicate, work, and ultimately make new connections. For most law firms, however, this transformation to an online-centered world pushes up against the tried-and-true methods of word-of-mouth referrals, client meetings, and paper-based practices.
I will admit that, until recently, I was skeptical about social media in the legal industry. […]
I’ve seen a number of stories lately proclaiming that big data is taking over the world, therefore your firm “must adapt or die!” While I confess to being a big proponent of integrating business intelligence (BI) products into your firm, the reality is that law firms around the world have been relatively slow to adopt the new data technologies. And they are not alone; a recent Gartner survey showed […]
For law firms trying to cope with the rapidly changing legal landscape, prescriptions from the experts seem to focus on one primary goal: be more “nimble”. From my perspective, a firm will be nimble if they have a mobile workforce and a deep understanding of pricing and profitability. The firm can therefore change as the future of law unfolds and won’t waste time and effort trying to guess what […]
Can you imagine your legal practice five or even ten years from now? If you think that’s difficult, try doing that while properly judging which of the current “hot” legal trends will pan out and which will fall by the wayside. A CIO at one of our firms recently remarked that “the legal industry is going through 30 years of change compressed into five years, and we are now […]
The “Heartbleed Bug” has already become a nightmare for anyone tasked with data security, and frankly any company that maintains data critical to its business operations. This reality puts every existing law firm at risk of a serious data breach. A recent story in Corporate Counsel found that the Heartbleed Bug “challenges all that is known concerning Internet security. Because Heartbleed is a structural flaw, it can be exploited […]
Are you losing sleep worrying about your firm?
Successfully running any business is challenging enough in this economy, but law firms face a particularly cool climate. As the Wall Street Journal wrote in January, “Don’t expect things to warm up anytime soon. By most accounts 2013 was another lackluster year for U.S. law firms, marked by stagnant demand for legal services and only minimal increases in lawyer productivity.”
We did some […]
Based on the evidence, it certainly appears that non-hourly billing alternatives are quickly gaining ground on the venerable billable hour in many U.S. law firms. In one of those bell-weather stories whose implications only become clear as time passes, the Texas Lawyer reported last year that so-called “alternative fee arrangements” (AFA’s) were being used by 89 percent of the law firms in their 2013 Salary and Billing Survey. In […]
A few years back, I was able to sit in on sales pitches from a couple of key law firms. Both firms came to the table with a partner leading the presentation and at least one other lawyer who would assist on the account. They proceeded with basic slideshows and brochures that included pictures of their office building.
Being brutally honest, their pitches were dreadful and neither firm nailed the […]
Last Saturday was International Women’s Day 2014 (www.internationalwomensday.com). I think we can all agree that full gender equality has not yet arrived in law or business, and especially not in the executive suite. As a woman executive I wonder what will generate a fundamental shift? What if the issue of getting more women into leadership positions was actually an economic issue rather than simply about fairness? A recent report […]
As CEO of Aderant I regularly visit with our clients. My impression over the years is that practicing law is a very tough business. Young associates are expected to hit the ground running, partners are expected to bring in clients and everyone is expected to bill. While mentor relationships often do exist between the partners and the associates, it seems more of a tough-love model than a nurturing one. So […]