Want to Boost Profits? Lawyers Share Their Best Tips

profitable

profitable
 
Want to know how to boost your bottom line? (Who doesn’t?) We’ve asked successful lawyers what has helped them improve their profitability. Here are their best tips:
“Our firm use to price on a flat-fee model. We switched to pure hourly model, which allowed clients to try us out before committing to anything. The results are remarkable. Our acquisition for new clients is about 40% from world-wide leads from our web presence.  Additionally, the hourly model does help in developing a better client relationship. And that better relationship has led to more opportunity all around—we get vastly more referral work.” –Anthony E. Parent, a tax attorney in Wallingford, Connecticut
“Our attorneys are enrolled into a sales training course. We have daily, one-hour meetings with the team where we rotate through the same content, practice it, and role play. We found that taking the time to practice it on a daily basis made our sales numbers grow tremendously. We were averaging three to five clients per month at first, averaging at $13,723. After seven months of this daily sales training, we got up to eight clients per month on a regular basis at $21,361 per month. We didn’t increase our marketing. We are just able to convert more potentials into actual clients and turn more ‘free consultations’ into money-making cases. We became more confident in ourselves and the services we offered!” —Melissa Breyer, who practices  family law and estate planning in Atlanta, GA
“Rocket Matter’s billing and time keeping features have increased my productivity and definitely increased my profits. Rocket Matter’s email integration has increased my ability to communicate with my clients and send out bills to my them.” —Robert Hoffman, who practices family, civil, and criminal law in New York and Florida
“The biggest tip I would offer is to turn as many of your firms expenses/liabilities as possible into assets/investments. For example, after human capital (lawyers and support staff), the largest expense my firm has every year is rent. Many law firms choose to put their offices in fancy downtown buildings with views, but they never really stop to ask the question of if that makes sense for them or their practice. I run a practice located in Ohio with five offices—one main office in Cleveland and four satellite offices. When choosing office locations, I always have tried to put myself in the midst of my best referral sources. Though it isn’t fancy (instead I have made it homey and fun!), my main office in Cleveland is right across the hall from the doctor’s office that does the most consultative examinations for disability applicants in Northeast Ohio. The office is also downstairs from one of the largest community mental health agencies in the city and attached by sky bridge to the rehabilitation campus for the county hospital. My rent in Cleveland is about 1/2  of what it would be in a tonier downtown location, but because of the incredible proximity to referral partners and walk-in traffic from the medical examiners across the hall, I easily earn 10X my rent payment in legal fees every month. Same thing goes for my satellite offices which are all located in medical office buildings with cheap rent and lots of referral potential.” —Michael Liner, a social security disability lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio
“Different types of law are profitable for different types of reasons.  I am a personal injury lawyer and work on contingency.  As a result, profitability is based on case selection.  If you agree to take on questionable cases and you lose, then you do not get paid for your time and you lose all the costs you advance on behalf of the client. Therefore, when in doubt about the chances of success, you turn the case down.  This ensures that personal injury lawyers spend their time on cases that will eventually pay and keeps them from going bankrupt.” —Scott Distasio, a personal injury lawyer in Tampa, Florida
We have improved the profitability of our firm by having a solid set of data.  We track everything:  How the caller found us, their insurance policy information, case expenses, the speed at which we resolve the case, etc. Plus, we’re religious about it. Because we have trustworthy statistics, we are clear-eyed about where and how we can improve.  I don’t know how a business could make meaningful decisions otherwise.” —Justin Roberts, a personal injury lawyer in Tyler, Texas
“To increase profitability we have scaled back pay-per-click advertising (PPC). We found it was becoming too expensive and eating into firm profits. Instead, we began to focus more on SEO which is essentially free. Plus, it’s more effective at bringing in new cases than PPC.  In other words, SEO is much more profitable.” —Chris Earley, a personal injury lawyer in Boston
“I started my solo practice thirteen years ago, at which time I was taking advantage of the traditional marketing opportunities available to a law firm on a budget— public speaking, writing for publication, and becoming active in local organizations.  But profits were coming much slower than I’d hoped.  That’s when I adopted my social media strategy: I spend at least an hour a day on social media. I don’t post frequently, but instead I search social media for people whom I’ve met, invite them to connect with me, and then periodically ‘like’ their posts.  I’ve found that this keeps me on my contacts’ radar screens when they are asked for a referral to an appellate lawyer.  It has been fantastically profitable for me, and it hasn’t cost me a penny.” —Chad Ruback, an appellate lawyer in Dallas, Texas
“I opened my own law firm two years ago and have been profitable since day 90.  To increase my firm’s overall profitability, I initially invested a lot of time and energy putting into place processes and procedures so that every member of my team has a step-by-step guide on how to specifically execute their job duties.  The instructions are linked to form documents that are mergeable using case management software.  Having these processes and procedures along with mergeable form documents in place ensures that each member of my team can flawlessly execute their duties every day.  It also ensures that nothing falls through the cracks, produces a consistently high quality work product that pleases clients and frees me up to have more time to work ‘on’ instead of ‘in’ my business because they are not asking me ‘What do I do next?’ ten times a day on all of our cases.” —Chelsie M. Lamie, a personal injury lawyer in Safety Harbor, Florida