Lawyers can now run their firms as true business leaders. And the profitability objectives fully integrate the firms’ development strategies. Their management must be based on reliable, objective data: which files are the most profitable? Which areas of law or which specialties generate the most billing? What types of clients are most likely to use the firm’s services?
Assist In Strategic Decision Making
The data which can be stored in software like in Smokeball for example produced by the practice’s operation can help make decisions regarding the practice’s investments in real estate, human resources, equipment, or technology.
They can also clarify development opportunities: new office or annex, merger with another firm, association with other regulated professions, etc.
Finally, the figures provided can support development projects with investors: banks, capital increase, financing through accounting, and tax resources.
Facilitate Data Communication
The possibility of associating with other regulated professions makes it necessary to circulate data reliably and continuously. Modern software such as litigation software for attorneys now knows how to communicate, provided that the data processed meets the appropriate standards.
The Keys To Success
Data Quality: The Sinews Of War
The importance of the decisions taken for the management of a firm implies that the data on which these decisions are based is reliable and complete. It is necessary to endeavor to enter as carefully as possible all the operational data of the firm: time spent, billable and invoiced hours, documents and letters were written, agenda items, etc. The involvement of all the teams in this process is essential.
Accept The Opening Of Practice Data
Without going as far as “open data,” which makes data public and accessible, lawyers who wish to associate effectively with other regulated professions must agree to see certain information (mainly financial) circulating, in a secure manner, between their software and that of the structure with which they are associated: chartered accountant, bailiff, notary, legal representatives, etc.
Choose the right indicators and stick to them
No need to want to follow too many indicators. You have to select those that will give you the most relevant indicators according to your objectives.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be of various types:
- Financial: turnover, unpaid bills, average fees, turnover per file, etc
- Acquisition: new cases, new customers, cost of acquiring new customers, etc
- Client relationship: files closed, average fee, number of files per client, etc
- Productivity: billable hours, the ratio of hours billed to hours worked, etc
- Marketing: website traffic, email openings or clicks, contact requests, etc
But the measured data does not speak for itself, and it is necessary to confront them with objectives to judge an evolution. Set objectives based on the previous year’s performance to which a rate of progress is applied.