Legal Practice Archives - Bobogado

Category Archives for Legal Practice

Law Firm Profit Margin – Don’t Kid Yourself

A recent article by Bruce Stachenfeld over at Above the Law reminded me of my biggest pet peeve regarding law firm financial performance: misleading law firm profit margin figures. Bruce correctly points out that “profit margin is a dangerous statistic to use in comparing law firm profitability” because it “can be completely manipulated by two factors: [t]he titles that a firm gives to its lawyers; and [t]he leverage in the system.” Essentially, for a given number of associates, the more partners a firm has, the higher its profit margin (%) will be. The reason for this is that typically all partner compensation is included as profit. This is a mistake. Keep reading to learn why this is a problem and to learn how to calculate law firm profitability the right way.

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Don’t Forget to Consider Billing Rates When Choosing a Practice Group

Picking a practice group is an incredibly important decision for any young attorney. Your practice group will dictate the substance of your day-to-day duties at your firm. But, your initial choice also has the potential to set the course for your entire career. Inertia in the workplace is powerful. Spend a few years doing real estate work and people are going to start thinking of you as a real estate attorney. Once people think of you as a real estate attorney, you’re likely to have a difficult time switching to a significantly different practice area. Or even more generally, it’s difficult to switch from litigation to corporate even if you’ve only been practicing for a year.

One factor that I suspect junior attorneys frequently overlook are the billing rates associated with a particular practice group. Continue reading

Use a Mailing Vendor to Send a Letter with the Ease of Email

Printing correspondence and stuffing and stamping envelopes is exactly the kind of low-skill commodity task that law firms should outsource. For small and solo practices, do you really need to be paying your legal secretaries and paralegals for this kind of work? There are higher value tasks more befitting of their salaries. And for larger practices that already employ several employees for mail-room functions, wouldn’t it be nice to reduce headcount and overhead without having to worry about disruptions to your operations? Traditionally, stuffing and stamping envelopes was a necessary evil for legal practices because many documents must be transmitted in hard copy form.  Today, you can use a mailing vendor to easily and cost effectively outsource this task, without having to agree to a lengthy contract or pay exorbitant costs upfront. Continue reading