For law firms to survive in today’s highly competitive market, they must be run like a business. Unfortunately, law school doesn’t train lawyers in business skills, so many partners aren’t equipping their law firms to survive and thrive in the current market.
Here’s a short quiz that will help you determine if you’re running your firm as efficiently as possible, including tips on how to improve your firm’s business operations.
1. Are non-lawyers handling the firm’s client intake process?
If not, why not? Lawyers should only be handling tasks that require a license to practice law; otherwise, they aren’t making the most of their time—in fact, they’re probably losing you money. Intake is an area of your business you can easily automate or delegate if you implement a consistent, repeatable client qualification process. You can even assign this task to virtual assistants who can follow your firm’s protocol to further improve your bottom line.
2. Are you monitoring your lawyers’ and employees’ productivity?
Are you studying how often your lawyers are opening new cases, sending out demand letters, or closing cases? What about your intake team? Which employees are the most efficient, and which have the highest conversion rates?
If you don’t have this information, how can you tell whether your firm is on the right track to meeting your business goals? You can’t. You need your data at your fingertips so you can quickly assess who is—and who isn’t—as productive as they could be.
Incentivize your staff. Where are the bottlenecks? Take steps to retrain personnel as needed to improve their skills. You can also share metrics about case value and efficiency with your team so they can see how they are doing compared to their peers, stoking their competitive fires.
3. Are your clients happy?
Don’t assume your clients are satisfied and that everything is going well. Be proactive by monitoring client communications and regularly seeking feedback.
Do clients know the status of their case? If there is a long delay, do they know why, or do they think their attorney forgot about them? Do you have a consistent case management procedure, ensuring that nothing is overlooked or falls through the cracks? What do clients have to say about each of your attorneys?
By tracking all of your client communications and regularly conducting surveys, you can more accurately assess client satisfaction.
4. Are you targeting the right types of leads?
Do you know who your target client is? If you do, are you putting your ideal client persona to work by qualifying leads, or are you still taking every case that comes through the door?
All leads are not created equal. If your intake process is broken, you’ll miss lucrative opportunities because you failed to ask the right questions; you might also take on inappropriate cases or waste time on tire-kickers or price-checkers, who will drain your time and deplete your resources without yielding any return on your investment.
The goal is to use a set of criteria that will help your intake team identify and score valuable cases early in the intake process, so you can focus your firm’s resources accordingly.
5. Do you know the value of your case inventory?
Do you know which type of case is the most valuable for your firm: car accident, product liability, or class action? How much revenue is your current case inventory projected to earn? Are you monitoring the settlement value of each case, and tracking it against each attorney’s performance?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, how do you know? Educated guesswork, or are you using a form of Artificial Intelligence or predictive intelligence technology to inform your decisions?
Predictive analytics can show you how much money your firm has on the table and where you’re potentially losing money. With this information, you can focus your resources on the most profitable sectors of business for your firm, and eliminate or improve the areas that aren’t performing as well.
6. Do you know the status of your referrals?
Referrals are an important element of any law firm’s business. While you may not represent every client that contacts you for help, it’s still important to monitor the cases you refer out.
What is the status of each of your referrals? Have the clients signed with your referral partners, or is it time to reassign the case?
By using an inventory management software platform, you’ll know the status of each of your referrals at a glance, without having to follow up with each firm individually.
7. Do you know where your cases are coming from?
Marketing is the top of the funnel that drives your business upwards. Allocating your marketing dollars to the campaigns that generate the most qualified leads and new revenue is key to growth. Do you know which of your marketing channels produce the most new business?
Which of your campaigns have the highest return on investment (ROI)? How many new leads come in through your TV advertisements compared to online/SEO? Without the answers to these questions, how will you know when strategic changes are necessary?
If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, you need to rethink how you’re running your law firm. It’s time to explore how your data can help you eliminate inefficiencies so you can capture more clients and, in turn, more revenue.
Fortunately, your law firm has all the data you need already. The problem is, it’s probably not captured or stored in a centralized repository, so you can’t visualize your results, much less put it to work for your firm.
Want to know how you can use your data to drive more clients to your pipeline and build your law firm’s bottom line? Contact us to schedule a demo of Litify.