Law Practice Management News
Ideas for Lawyers and Managers That Dare To Be Different January 2012

in this issue

Obtaining Additional Work From Existing Clients

Key Documents Needed to Launch a Law Firm Merger/Acquisition/Sale Initiative

Solo-Small Firm Question of the Month -Increasing Law Firm Profitability: Using Metrics and Measurements to Focus Performance

Download Our Profitability Checklist

Looking to Sell or Merge Your Practice - Let Us Know

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John W. Olmstead


Welcome to Olmstead & Associates Law Practice News, a law practice management resource for practicing attorneys, managing partners, administrators, and others that must keep updated on all aspects of law firm management.

We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We hope you will find 2012 a prosperous year both personally and professionally.

Our Law Practice Management E-Newsletter is distributed on the first Wednesday of each month. Look for it and send us your emails with your ideas for topics that you would like covered. I wish to thank those who take the time to email me with their thoughts and comments. I encourage our readers to do so.

  • Obtaining Additional Work From Existing Clients
  • Research conducted over the years by numerous research organizations has shown that on average it costs five times as much (dollars/time investment) to get new clients than it does to get more business from existing clients. It just makes good business sense to leverage existing relationships.

    Institutional clients are reducing the number of law firms that they use. According to BTI Consulting Group, corporations in the Fortune 1000 list are using 20% fewer core law firms than they did a year earlier. As a result fewer firms will be getting work from these companies and they will likely be the firms that successfully cross-sell their practices.

    Read on . . .
  • Key Documents Needed to Launch a Law Firm Merger/Acquisition/Sale Initiative
  • With the graying of the boomer generation many law firm are considering succession and exit options. While internal succession is an option for many firms others are having merger chats with larger firms. Often these firms have problems getting focused and generating interest from other firms. Here is a suggested process and or documents that you should prepare to generate interest and properly package your firm?

    Read on . . .
  • Solo-Small Firm Question of the Month -Increasing Law Firm Profitability: Using Metrics and Measurements to Focus Performance
  • Question Our firm does mostly flat fee work. I am the sole owner of the firm and am considering hiring my first associate. Each of us work as a team and do a lot of cross-over work on all client/matters. I have two paralegals. We don't keep timesheets on our flat fee cases. Do you have any suggestions as to how to proceed with the hiring of this associate?>

    Answer: It sounds like your firm is relucantly approaching the next step in its growth. Adding your first associate will change the dynamics of your firm and will require you begin to implement more formal approaches to performance management for all members of your team - the new associate, your staff, and yourself. I would start by thinking through the exact tasks and roles that you would like the associate and other staff members to perform. In other words define the associate position. Do to expect the associate to bring in business? Are you willing to train a new associate without experience or are you looking for someone with experience. Can you structure work so there is less crossover of team members on files? If not, how are you going to measure their performance and production? (Time, their production fee dollars, file or case counts, etc.) Are you going to incorporate a variable pay or incentive bonus component into the compensation plan for the associate as well as the other staff members? (More firms are doing this) Define the position first and then decide on the "who".

    I encourage you to begin establishing production (performance) goals for all employees and then measure performance against these goals. Tie at least a portion of compensation to accomplishment of these goals. More firms are starting to pay for performance and less for simply showing up.

  • Download Our Profitability Checklist
  • Are you looking for a quick and dirty checklist to use to review the profitability of your practice. Click below for a copy of our Law Practice Profitability Checkup.

    Click here to download ...
  • Looking to Sell or Merge Your Practice - Let Us Know
  • We frequently consult and work with law firm clients working on implementing succession strategies that involve the sale of a law practice, merging with another firm, or hiring lateral talent. If you are looking to join up with another firm keep us in mind. We will be posting confidential listings on our website in the near future.

  • FREE Guide to Law Firm Management Best Practices
  • Download a FREE copy of our Guide to Law Firm Management Best Practices.

    To learn more about Olmstead & Associates visit their web site at www.olmsteadassoc.com

    To View & Print the FREE Guide

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