3 Ways to Grow Your Small Law Firm

Is it time to take your small law firm to the next level?

Maybe you’ve seen that there is an increasing demand for the sort of services that you deliver. Perhaps you have decided you could do better work with the help of a team. Maybe you just need to hire staff so you can enjoy a vacation without having to worry about your work. Or maybe you just see the potential for bigger earnings.

All of these reasons are great objectives for you to expand your business. However, growing your law firm too quickly without a thoughtful plan can have disastrous outcomes.

If you want to grow your small law firm or even your solo practice by adding more staff, covering more locations or adding more practice areas, then you must follow many steps. Next, you need to recognise your law practice’s most valuable financial indicators so you can easily have an effective strategy to ensure that you can grow your small law firm. Above all, you must consider getting your small law firm running as efficiently as possible.

1. Have an effective law practice management system in place

Lawyers know all about the importance of documentation for their legal cases, but they don’t always take the time to keep a record of their internal business practices.

Instructions for oft-repeated tasks like filing documents, contacting clients, signing in visitors, and scheduling meetings should be clear and easy to access for everyone on staff.

Having an effective tool to establish such procedures for these tasks will remove friction and enable the work to happen quickly and easily. Setting all of your procedures before you decide to grow your small law firm can lead to a wide array of good things:

  • It frees up the funds you need for growth by saving you time on tedious tasks and enabling you to bill for more profitable tasks with that saved time.
  • It ensures that you have a solid procedural foundation to build on (your processes will only get more complicated as additional people, places or subject areas get involved)
  • It makes it easier to hire potential employees because you’ll have a clearer idea of what you expect them to do.

Becoming truly systems-focused requires a long-term commitment from the leadership. Your staff will ignore procedures if they’re not seen as a critical job priority. And as soon as documents get outdated, they become useless for training and staff turnover management.

2- Decide what tasks to delegate

If growth is the goal, the law firm’s top management must prioritize tasks that allow the growth: I.e, the services or practice areas that bring the most revenues. That usually means that they can’t handle all the tasks that they used to be responsible for.

Delegation can be particularly difficult for lawyers at small firms. For owners to manage growth successfully, they must stop looking at the law practice as a personal extension and start seeing it as an independent company that can operate without them.

Here are a few examples of tasks that lawyers delegate effectively to free up their own time for more profitable work:

Client Service

By having a tool that ensures effective and on-time collaboration between lawyers and clients, you can easily handle all clients requests and free up time for lawyers to bill for more expensive work. But in the process, you also increase client satisfaction and, therefore, increase your chances of getting referrals and keeping clients long-term.

Accounting

Most owners are habitual with outsourcing their taxes to accountants. But smart owners know that they can also delegate tasks like invoicing, bill collection, and payroll to dedicated professionals or software programs.

Case Management

There are plenty of legal-specific tools on the market today that make it easier for lawyers to manage cases, contracts, notes, dates, schedules, expenses, time tracking, and client communications for their cases in one place.

App4Legal is the ultimate law firm management system equipped with easy-to-use client portals to let your clients check on their case details without ever having to call your law firm.

3. Set Up Financial Benchmarks Before Hiring

If you’re considering making a hire, things are probably going well for your practice right now. You might even be feeling overwhelmed with all the work on your plate. Hiring to get yourself the help you need might seem like a no-brainer.

But a full-time hire is a big commitment.No one wants to have to make a hire just to let them go a short time later.

That’s why you need to carefully calculate how much it will cost to hire someone for any given role. Then, calculate how many new clients, engagements, or hours billed you to need to hit to afford to pay them long-term.

It’s highly recommended that small law firms handle some numbers before they make a hire. These statistics include the average fee per client, the number of meetings for the last three months, and the average cost to acquire a new client.

If you’d like to join 1400+ legal practitioners who have streamlined their law firm management with the ultimate law practice management software, click here to start your free trial.

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