Law Practice Management News
Ideas for Lawyers and Managers That Dare To Be Different November 2014

in this issue

Five Ideas for Struggling Personal Injury Plaintiff Practices

Law Firm Administrators - Effecting Change by Selling Your Ideas to Your Partners

Solo/Small Firm Question of the Month - Law Firm Succession - Consequences of Waiting Too Long

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.

Law Practices For Sale and Law Practices Looking to Acquire Practices. As a service to our clients looking to sell, acquire, merge, or otherwise join another firm we now have an area of our website dedicated to helping our clients connect and explore mutual opportunities. Click here to access the listing. Interested parties should contact John Olmstead via e-mail at jolmstead@olmsteadassoc.com.

  • Five Ideas for Struggling Personal Injury Plaintiff Practices
  • Many of our personal injury plaintiff law firm clients are advising us that over the last few years they have been struggling and revenues and profits have been flat. It is getting harder to get good cases and harder to settle and move their cases.

    Firms should reevaluate existing processes and consider new business models. PI firms may want to begin by.

    1. Develop a firm strategic plan and individual attorney marketing plans which include aggressive network/contact plans for past clients, attorney referral sources (non PI attorneys), attorney referral sources (other PI attorneys), and other referral sources.
    2. Evaluate the feasibility of adding an additional practice segment to reduce the level of risk in the case portfolio and reduce cash flow variability.
    3. Reduce case portfolio risk and improve case profitability by implementing a case intake system whereby all new cases over a specified level of projected case value are reviewed and approved by the partnership (or a client intake committee) in order for the case to be accepted by the firm. In other words - don't let one attorney expose the entire firm to either excessive levels of case risk or case investment (time and client cost advances) without other partners having a say on the matter.
    4. Analyze the profitability and return on each case and ascertain what can be done differently on future cases. Metrics might include effective rate, return on LOADSTAR, dollar case profit after allocation of all appropriate firm overhead, etc.
    5. Review and measure present marketing investments (time and money) and determine what is working and what is not. Reallocate resources if appropriate.

  • Law Firm Administrators - Effecting Change by Selling Your Ideas to Your Partners
  • Few things are as important to an administrator's future as that person's ability to influence the decision-making process and effect change. Skills and competencies are important but so are results. In order to transcend to the next level and enhance their value to their law firms, administrators must help their firms actually effect positive changes and improvements and improve performance. This requires selling ideas to partners in the firm and having them accepted and actually implemented. To succeed administrators must achieve three outcomes:

    1. Provide new solutions or methods
    2. The firm must achieve measurable improvement in its results by adopting the solutions.
    3. The firm must be able to sustain the improvements over time.

  • Solo/Small Firm Question of the Month - Law Firm Succession - Consequences of Waiting Too Long
  • Question I am a solo practitioner in an estate planning firm in Carbondale, Illinois. I am the only attorney in the firm. I have one legal assistant that has worked for me for ten years. I am 72 years old. I suppose it has always been my goal to practice forever as I have been in denial about my age. I have done nothing concerning the eventual transition of my practice and I don't even have anything in place in the event that I would become ill and out of the office due to illness. I am beginning to have more and more health problems and as a result I am coming to the realization that I must address the transition of my practice. Please share your thoughts.

    Answer: Age denial is a common problem that I see with senior attorneys that are continuing to practice into their 70s and 80s. They often tell me - "I want to practice forever." However, eventually the clock catches up with them and often they have not prepared for the transition of the practice. Waiting too long can have the following consequences:

    Click here for the rest of the article . . .
  • 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 post confidential listings on our website.

    Click here for a link to view listings
  • 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