Law Practice Management News
Ideas for Lawyers and Managers That Dare To Be Different September 2013

in this issue

Benchmark for Law Firm Revenue

Successful Law Firms - What Are They Doing Right?

Solo/Small Firm Question of the Month - Metrics and Dashboards for a Personal Injury Law Firm

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.

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.

  • We represent a law firm in Central Kentucky looking to sell their tax preparation practice.
  • We represent a business law firm in Houston, Texas looking to merge with another firm.
  • We represent an estate planning firm in Chicago looking to merge or sell practice.
  • We represent an estate planning firm in Peoria, Illinois area looking to sell practice.
Interested parties should contact John Olmstead via e-mail at jolmstead@olmsteadassoc.com.

  • Benchmark for Law Firm Revenue
  • Surveys vary. However, national averages for all firm - types - sizes, etc. tend to be around $385,000 per lawyer. I have firms averaging $250,000 to $550,000 and up. So it varies by location, type of practice, size of firm, etc. However, I believe that $300,000 per year per lawyer should be considered a realistic goal for all firms, all sizes, all practice areas, and all locations. For some firm this might be a stretch - but I believe it to be an attainable goal.

  • Successful Law Firms - What Are They Doing Right?
  • In spite of the recent economic woes many small firms have still done well. Many of these firms were those that:

    • Were focused
    • Had a sense of where they were and where they were heading
    • Had a vision and a strategy
    • Had business and financial plans
    • Had goals and measured attainment
    • Fostered accountability from self and others
    • Were proactive
    • Worked the books and managed the RULES (Rate, Utilization, Leverage, Expense Control, Collection Speed)

    I believe that law firms that fail to focus their practices, set goals, measure accomplishments, and foster accountability will fall short and not meet their financial objectives. Law firms that fail to plan are planning to fail.

    Law firms as well as solo practices need to begin focusing their firms and practices, setting firm and individual production goals, measure accomplishment and implementing systems to instill accountability from all members of the team - attorneys and staff alike.

  • Solo/Small Firm Question of the Month - Metrics and Dashboards for a Personal Injury Law Firm
  • Question I am the managing partner of a three attorney personal injury plaintiff firm in Indianapolis. We have a total of 600+ open PI files. What are some of the key financial metrics/indicators that we should be using to manage the practice?

    Answer: From your case count it is obvious that you a managing a high volume practice. In addition to selecting the right cases managing you inventory (case portfolio) is crucial as is managing and monitoring the effectiveness of your marketing investments. Here are a few metrics that you might consider incorporating into a one page report with trend line charts. You can design the report in Excel and pull the numbers from detail reports from your case management system:

    Read on . . .
  • 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

    ::Phone 314-241-5665