Originally published May 9, 2022. Updated June 12, 2023.

Running a law firm can be expensive. Streamlining your operations will reduce your overhead while adding value to how you serve your clients. Finding effective ways to shrink your costs starts with identifying these: 

1.    Case-Related Expenses

Case-related expenses are hard costs that you pay on behalf of your client concerning their case. These expenses include witness fees, laboratory fees, court filing fees, and medical record expenses.

While your firm eventually passes these expenses on to the client when you bill them, you are responsible for these costs in the short term. Your firm pays a laboratory fee, for example, and receives payment from your client several weeks later. These expenses can quickly accumulate, and you could find your firm with a cash flow issue due to multiple clients’ case-related costs.

The Solution: Tracking these expenses with practice management software can help you invoice your clients promptly. This software can also automate check requests and manage your claim log. The last thing you need is your firm’s finances to be bogged down by your clients’ expensive procedural costs.

2.    Malpractice Premiums

Legal malpractice insurance safeguards your firm against malpractice claims that clients and third parties may bring. The premium you pay depends on how long you have been practicing and the size and location of your firm. Other criteria that affect the size of your premium include your desired coverage limits, prior claims you may have, and risk management discounts.

The Solution: A practice management software solution that manages your firm’s data can help you minimize malpractice risk. You’ll avoid claims and keep your premiums low by never missing an important piece of information.

It can also examine your malpractice risk exposure by analyzing your firm’s past data. The software allows you to avoid overshooting the coverage you need and choose an amount of reasonable protection.

3.    Lead Generation

Most attorneys like to focus on their current clients’ cases rather than acquiring new ones. However, in today’s digital world, marketing is essential for firms that intend to grow their clientele. Lawyers have to resort to lead generation tactics outside of traditional methods like placing an ad in the phonebook or buying billboard space.

Marketing is a necessary expenditure, and most law firms devote sizable budgets to promoting their practices. They spend money creating a website, hiring a social media manager, and running ads on Google and other platforms.

The Solution: A software application that provides real-time notifications about your incoming leads can help you streamline your sales process and maximize conversion rates.  Also, the ability to integrate with email list management software helps track your marketing campaigns and puts you ahead of your competition.

4.    Data Storage

Law firms have to manage large amounts of data from their cases. Cloud storage space offering the level of security your firm needs can cost several thousands of dollars per year. On the other hand, legal practices that decide to keep their data storage in-house have to set up servers and may require an IT department, increasing their costs.

The Solution: Practice management software offers a lower-cost solution to secure cloud storage.

5.    Legal Research Subscriptions

With legal research costing anywhere from $1,200 to $14,000 per attorney per year, it is one of the largest expenses you will pay throughout your career. Searching for legal precedents and answering some of the challenging questions you will encounter requires paying a steep price.

The Solution: The right software solution helps your firm manage records requests and quickly search through data.

REDUCING EXPENSES THROUGH EFFICIENCY

A must in growing your business is reducing your expenses. Identifying your top costs and finding ways to reduce them will make your firm operate more efficiently and will open funds for future expansion.

Backdocket is a software solution that provides law firms with the functionality they need for maximizing efficiency. Our software improves your firm’s internal organization while eliminating the pain points associated with managing your practice. To learn why backdocket is the right tool for your firm and get a free demo.

Originally published 5/16/22; Updated 2/8/23

As a growing law firm, it’s important to focus your efforts on client growth to increase your profitability. When growing your client base, you’ll need to determine the ideal number of clients that will allow you to bring in high revenues without overwhelming your legal team and staff.

Figuring out how many clients a small law firm needs to be profitable depends on your firm’s structure, goals, and capacity to provide quality legal services to your client base. Read on to explore these considerations and the factors that affect profitability, such as your client quality and practice management system.

HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR IDEAL CLIENT NUMBER

There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. Your ideal client number depends on factors specific to your law firm. These include the structure of your law offices, the goals you set for your practice, and the firm’s capacity to serve its clientele.

Law firm structure

Your firm’s structure plays a part in determining your ideal client numbers. If you own your own small law firm, you may only need a handful of high-paying clients for profitability. As a solo lawyer, you likely can’t take on a high number of clients, so opting for smaller, better-paying clients is a business-savvy choice.

However, if your law firm is structured as an LLC or corporation, you may require a higher number of clients, both average and high paying, to round out your profits.

High-profile cases may bring in more money, but they may require more time and effort. With this type of structure, aiming for a broader client base through social media marketing or adding legal services may help you reach your ideal number.

Goals for client numbers and profit

You and your partners likely have a set profit margin or number of cases you want to close each year. These objectives can offer you a goal to aim for regarding client numbers and profit.

Review your goals regularly as your services or fees change. A shift in prices can mean you need fewer or additional clients to meet your profit goals than previously determined, so stay on top of your financial projections and adjust for differences.

Capacity for growth

Although aiming for as many clients as possible seems like a smart idea, it can prove troublesome for some firms. Determining the right number of clients for profitability includes accessing your firm’s capability to handle your clientele.

Aim for a client number that reflects your firm’s services and capabilities and gives you a respectable profit margin. For some perspective, even many large law firms carry less than a 15% profit margin. But the figures will depend on the law firm and its structure.

FACTORS THAT AFFECT PROFITABILITY

When considering your ideal number of clients for maximum profitability, it’s crucial to consider specific factors that affect your law firm’s profit margin. These include the quality of your cases and how you manage your legal practice’s day-to-day operations.

Case quality

The quality of the cases you take on impacts your profitability. To boost your profitability, commit to taking high-quality cases that will give you a high return on investment (ROI).

Also, choose your clients wisely. Avoid working with people who don’t pay on time or require too much unnecessary attention. Instead, choose clients who trust and respect your work.

Efficient practice management organization

Behind the scenes, practice management matters just as much as client number and quality. If your practice has the right number of clients but struggles to manage scheduling, claims processing, billing, or any other back-end protocol, you’ll lose revenue.

Equip your law firm with an efficient, cloud-based practice management software like backdocket to ensure your firm runs smoothly. Better scheduling means you stay on top of client appointees, legal filings, and court appearances.

Better bookkeeping, intake, and check approval—all part of practice management—mean you have predictable cash flow and can better manage your law firm’s finances.

All this adds up to increased profits and better legal service for your clients.

BOOST YOUR CLIENT BASE AND PROFITABILITY WITH BACKDOCKET

Backdocket offers small to midsize law firms efficient and customizable practice management software that simplifies all aspects of running your law firm. Our software can help you effectively manage your client billing cycles and client and staff scheduling to provide effective legal services to your existing clients and continue to grow your client base to increase profitability.

Schedule a demo with backdocket today to discover how our practice management software can help you maintain a profitable, successful legal practice.

In the quest to attract legal talent, leadership, culture, practice support, and compensation are essential factors for new lawyers. They also want to work at law firms where they and their clients feel valued, involved, and supported.

The rise of practice management software can influence how legal talent perceive law firms. Learn how practice management software helps your firm attract talent to build a sustainable competitive advantage.

Implement Better Communication and Collaboration

The global workforce will be 75% digital natives by 2030. In fact, tech-native generations cite technology as an important factor in their decision to take a job. 

Automation will replace many operational and administrative tasks that lawyers and staff members currently do. At the same time, the legal work still requires deep knowledge of the industry and rational decision-making.

Law firms can become more collaborative and data-driven by investing in practice management software. This software shows the incoming legal talent that a law firm is dedicated to continuous learning and rewards personal growth.

Transparency about Work Expectations

Using dashboards and KPIs (key performance indicators) in legal practice management software allows attorneys to quickly see how their staff members are performing across multiple cases so they can provide guidance when needed. They can also help reward legal team members who produce positive outcomes rather than just those who are busiest.

A law firm can use legal practice management software to measure such KPIs as average client satisfaction and overall quality of service. This helps track how well clients are being served and identifies areas where lawyers and staff members can improve customer service.

Streamline Work Processes

Lawyers can expand into new legal matters and practice areas with the help of practice management software. It enables law firms to set up automated workflows that ensure timely responses and high-quality communication with clients.

For instance, an attorney may assign a paralegal the trigger task of sending a document for signature to a client by a specific due date. A legal staff member can create a new intake with contact information with one click instead of manually entering data when a potential new client calls.

Legal staff members can better understand the steps in the process when they have a clear roadmap for the entire workflow. It helps ease the learning curve and ensures higher quality work by removing some of the stress associated with it.

Customization for Team Preferences

Law firms can customize practice management software to meet the needs of their lawyers and staff members. This software allows deep customization to meet the ever-changing needs of their clients, even after implementation.

As part of the intake process, you can set up fields to capture data on specific leads. The intake forms can be customized to show relevant data to clients when they meet with lawyers. Lawyers can even generate reports on whether they met their metrics with the software.

When lawyers and staff members see that a law firm cares about their needs through customizable software, they’re more likely to commit to working with your firm in the long run.

Allows for Work from Home

Many legal professionals prefer hybrid remote work when they travel between client meetings, court appearances, and the office. Balancing work and family responsibilities is also a factor in working from home. Pandemic-related concerns may also encourage lawyers to work from home to safeguard their health.

Your law firm can use cloud-based practice management software to enable remote working. Access to case information, clear visibility of workflows and deadlines, collaboration on document drafts, and assignment of work can all be accomplished with the tool.

Backdocket’s cloud services let law firms share information in almost real-time. Staff members and attorneys can manage a client’s lifecycle, create tasks, and track files from anywhere using the system. Backdocket’s software improves communication between law firms and their clients while helping legal teams improve their technology skills.

Improve Your Law Firm’s Reputation with backdocket

Implementing practice management software like backdocket can help firms grow their reputations and business. Our practice management software can help you create a firm culture that attracts the most talented professionals and enhances customer satisfaction and growth.

Learn more about improving your law firm’s operations with practice management software by setting up a free demo with backdocket today.

Law firms are constantly looking for ways to improve their marketing and increase revenue. One of the best ways to do this is by using lead attribution.

Lead attribution is a marketing tool that allows law firms to measure the effectiveness of their lead generation efforts, ensuring that they’re spending money on the right channels. Find out the benefits of lead attribution for law firms and how you can figure out where your leads are coming from with backdocket.

What is the Importance of Accurate Lead Attribution?

You want to know where to focus your marketing efforts and make sure you’re getting the most for your marketing budget as a law firm.

Benefits of lead attribution include:

For example, suppose you advertise your legal services on Google AdWords and receive 100 leads per month. One of those leads could be a potential client who found your website through an ad. Another lead may have discovered your services through a website linked to yours. It’s essential to know where your leads come from to understand if your ads are effective.

How Lead Attribution Works in the Client Intake and Onboarding Process

The client intake and onboarding processes start whenever you capture the attention of a new potential client. They may have called your office, emailed you, or completed an online form on your website to schedule a consultation. However, there is no way for you to know whether they came from referrals by past clients, online advertising campaigns, or web searches.

You may learn where your clients discovered you through your intake and onboarding process. Once you know this information, it becomes easier to understand which marketing channels work well for your law practice and which ones don’t perform. You can then focus on optimizing channels that are performing well while scaling back on those that aren’t offering results.

It is important to attribute where a potential new client came from when you first interact with them. Using these practices during the client intake process can improve the rate at which leads become paying clients and increase your law firm’s profitability.

Ways to achieve accurate lead attribution during onboarding include:

Maintaining a client intake policy and process

Educate your attorneys and staff on how to handle the initial contact with clients. Establish an intake process to ensure they understand the expectations of tracking each lead, including asking clients about how they found out about your law firm.

Lawyers and staff members should also understand the goals of lead attribution as it pertains to reaching out to more potential clients through the most popular sources.

Discovering how a prospective client found you

Asking a potential client how they heard about you in the intake phone call is one of the easiest ways to find out the source. If they came through a paid search ad, you know where to focus your marketing efforts.

If they came through a referral, you can determine whether the referrer was a past client or a professional acquaintance. A prospective client might have heard about your law firm through social media, such as Twitter or LinkedIn. In this case, you may focus your marketing budget on developing a social media presence to reach more clients.

Manage every lead in practice management software

A law firm’s intake process involves a variety of data fields, and duplicating information is time-consuming and prone to error. As part of your client intake process, you can set up your practice management software so your lawyers and staff members can input the clients’ information as they speak to them.

Backdocket’s practice management software helps you track the status of each lead and client in real-time. You can easily see who is currently a client, who converted from a prospect, or which sources led them to your law firm. This information is accessible ‌through backdocket’s dashboard and customized reports.

Boost Your Firm’s Growth with backdocket

Backdocket can define key stages in the lead intake process to identify sources, maximize conversions, and increase your law firm’s revenue. With backdocket’s practice management system, you can easily see which marketing efforts generate the most leads and conversions and translate the information into actionable marketing strategies.

Contact us today to book a free demo and discover how we can improve your law firm’s marketing and communication efforts.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are business metrics used by law firms to measure specific goals within all areas of business like, financial, marketing, business development, etc. These metrics serve as a compass for your firm. Operating without that compass can result in countless inefficiencies. 

At backdocket, we know just how critical tracking KPIs is to your firm’s long-term success, so we’ve created a free guide with tips to help your law firm’s KPI selection and tracking processes.

Download our free PDF on tracking KPIs now and make sure your law firm stays on track to meet its goals.

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Get a Free Demo

With backdocket, you can fully customize our practice management software to put your KPIs front and center to help you grow your firm. Contact us today for a free demonstration.

Thanks to technological advancements, remote working has grown in popularity in the last several years. Law firms that embrace remote work enjoy the freedom of accessing case files and legal documents and communicating with clients from anywhere.

Cloud technology shifts the focus of the attorney-client relationship from physical office locations to collaboration and digital accessibility. When you use cloud-based software to help you with your cases, you can deliver excellent client care as you work from anywhere.

The Importance of Cloud-Based Technology

The cloud is changing the way law firms do business, and law firms need to take advantage of these changes to stay competitive in today’s market. Cloud technology can help your law firm elevate client care while working from any location through access to real-time information and convenient communication with clients.

Access real-time information

The foundation of success for any law firm hinges on accessing accurate and timely information about each client. If your attorneys have trouble accessing this information quickly, it can negatively affect your ability to provide exceptional client care and deliver results.

A cloud-based document system like backdocket lets you track, manage, and store the flow of essential documents and contacts. If your firm has multiple offices, everyone has access to the same information they need about every client, regardless of where they are working.

Communicate with clients easily

The sooner an attorney responds to a client’s need or inquiry, the better the outcome for the client. It’s important to react quickly when a new case comes in, even if you’re not in the office. Cloud-based practice management software helps attorneys talk to clients wherever they are and stay up-to-date on current cases.

An attorney can refer to notes from a previous conversation with a client to discuss further details of their case. This can help move the client’s case along smoothly, ensuring that the client is satisfied with the customer service provided by your firm.

Benefits of Working from Anywhere as a Law Firm

Using the appropriate practice management tools and following a few best practices allows you to gain flexibility for your firm, build your client pipeline, and stay in touch with clientele.

Provides flexibility for remote work

When practicing law from home, lawyers can reduce the ‌time spent traveling to and from the office—the time saved from commuting benefits your attorneys and clients.

Your lawyers spend less on travel costs and have more flexibility with their schedules. They can spend more time talking with clients, building cases, and talking to new client leads when they have an open schedule.

Focus on building your pipeline of clients

Another benefit of working from anywhere is that it allows you to spend more time on your business and increase the number of clients you can serve. Instead of dredging through paper documents and driving to the office, you can meet with clients, strategize with your team, and grow your firm remotely.

You can also track client leads with cloud-based software. With this feature, attorneys can focus on bringing in new cases and developing new relationships with clients that can lead to additional cases.

Stay in touch with clients remotely

Lawyers work with multiple clients daily, and urgent matters that require immediate attention sometimes interrupt their routine. With cloud-based technology, attorneys can communicate quickly and flexibly with their clients. They can receive real-time notifications of email messages rather than checking throughout the day manually.

If a lawyer cannot meet in person with a client, they can still provide legal services virtually. Tools like Zoom and other secure video conferencing software are helping make client satisfaction easier.

If you want to stay on top of all your client-facing tasks and ensure satisfaction, practice management software such as backdocket is necessary. Cloud-based software can help you manage your priorities by creating and assigning tasks and subtasks, storing documents, and tracking your cases.

Remote Work is Possible with Backdocket

With the help of backdocket, your law firm can provide excellent client care from anywhere and at any time. Our practice management software is designed to help law firms simplify every practice area to improve client experience. Get in touch with us today to learn how backdocket is the solution to ensuring your client’s satisfaction.

Lawyers have many responsibilities like handling emotional clients, meeting strict deadlines, and parsing through complex materials and procedures. While working in the legal field can be fulfilling, it can also be highly stressful. 

Lately, law firms have been looking for ways to ensure their lawyers minimize stress to avoid burnout and other negative consequences. Your firm can promote mindfulness exercises, encourage work-life boundaries, and reduce their clerical workload with practice management software to reduce lawyers’ stress.

Causes and Symptoms of Lawyer Stress

It is no secret that although lawyers have fulfilling jobs, they also frequently face many stressors. Lawyers deal with highly emotional clients and handle large workloads that make it challenging to maintain a work-life balance. The addition of complicated cases and tedious clerical work only accentuate that problem.

Stress is expected in any legal position, but there is a difference between manageable and excess stress. When a lawyer experiences excessive stress levels, there can be physical, mental, and social consequences like insomnia, depression, substance abuse, and burnout.

Advantages of minimizing lawyer stress

Minimizing stress not only alleviates the signs and symptoms of excess stress but it makes lawyers better at their jobs. Less stress makes lawyers more emotionally available to clients, less likely to experience burnout, and better co-workers for their office mates. A healthy law firm has lawyers that minimize their stress to manageable levels.

Reduce stress related to highly emotional situations

If your stress primarily stems from interacting with emotional situations, like clients going through difficult life events, then therapy and practicing mindfulness techniques are likely to help. Therapy gives you an open avenue to talk about all feelings you have without judgment.

Therapy is also an excellent place to learn about and practice healthy coping mechanisms. For instance, meditation can help put mental distance between you and emotionally latent work to protect your emotions.

Reduce stress related to poor work-life balance

If the stress in your professional career as a lawyer is born of too much work and a poor work-life balance, then set boundaries and invest time in hobbies and loved ones. With strict deadlines and complicated work, the life of a lawyer can feel dominated by work. Setting boundaries for when clients can contact you and limiting your acceptance of new cases can alleviate some stress from large workloads.

With the time you set aside for yourself, recharge with hobbies you enjoy and time with loved ones. Activities that have nothing to do with work are essential to avoiding stress and burnout on the job.

Reduce stress related to tedious work

Lawyers already have large workloads without the clerical work of client intake, case document organization, and billing hour tracking. The additional stress associated with doing these tasks is incredibly frustrating because even though this work is vitally important for a firm, it does not feel like substantive lawyering.

Eliminate stress related to tedious tasks by integrating your clerical work into practice management software. It makes your intake work efficient, intuitively organizes cases and contacts, and can be trusted to keep firms on schedule.

Use Practice Management Software to Reduce Intake Work

Client intake is a mixture of clerical work and emotional availability. When done with practice management software, lawyers can focus primarily on the emotional side of the client and let the software collect relevant information. This makes lawyers’ jobs easier and leaves a great first impression on the potential client.

Simplify your firm’s document organization

With the unavoidable time constraints in this job, it is frustrating and stressful to search through computers to find the correct document for a client. Intuitive document organization in a practice management software system takes the stress out of this clerical task. Find documents based on the case, client, firm staff, and more in an easy-to-use quick search function.

Never stress about missing important dates again

Keeping multiple case filing deadlines and court dates straight in your head can be stressful and lead to errors. Entrust your calendar and case tracking to practice management software. It lets lawyers focus on their work instead of worrying if they forgot something or constantly guessing what is coming next in their schedule.

Find What Works for You

The key to effectively reducing work-related stress over a sustained period is finding a set of practices that work for the individual. Everyone has different reactions to the various stressors lawyers face daily. While some might need more help reducing the impact of highly emotional clients, others may see tedious work as their most significant stressor.

Talk with a therapist or loved ones to identify what stresses you out the most so that you can create personalized solutions to the problem. Eventually, you will land on effective stress-reducing practices like meditation, work-life boundaries, or implementing practice management software.

At backdocket, we created practice management software that helps firms grow and makes life easier for lawyers. From case management to office calendars and intake assistance, our practice management software is an integral part of reducing stress in a lawyer’s life.

Your law firm needs a solid financial plan to succeed and grow like any business. For instance, you must develop a sustainable strategy that helps you manage your firms’ cash flow and organizes all your case information in one place. Creating a sustainable strategy relies on your ability to streamline your case management. And it also requires your team to have real-time access to information.

At backdocket, our  practice management software can help. But first, we want to share how your firm will benefit in the long term from developing a sustainable financial strategy now. 

How a Sustainable Financial Strategy Benefits Your Practice

A sustainable financial strategy gives your practice the best chance of growing year after year, helping you reap the following benefits:

Critical Factors in a Long-Term Financial Strategy

The critical factors of a successful long-term financial strategy include several daily and monthly tasks. They include actions like defining your key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your firm’s progress against your goals and putting a case management and billing strategy in place so that you stay on top of bookkeeping tasks.

Key factors also include cultivating a continual source of new prospects and managing current client caseloads effectively. By creating a pipeline of potential clients, your firm is assured a constant source of revenue. And with efficient management of existing clients, you will bring on additional cases and grow a positive reputation for your firm.

Essential Support for Creating a Sustainable Financial Strategy

Here are the three pillars that support a long-term financial strategy:

1. Streamlined case management

An essential aspect of a sustainable financial strategy is efficient case management. Without it, you run the risk of losing potential clients and damaging your law firm’s reputation.

The right practice management software helps you streamline all aspects of case management to develop trusting and beneficial relationships with your clients. This boosts your practice’s reputation and draws in new prospects that help your firm grow.

When choosing a practice management software to support this area of your long-term financial strategy, choose an option that provides a wide range of features. Your software should perform the following functions:

2. Simplified billing

Your firm relies on client billing and claim payments to support its cash flow. Without an efficient billing process, your firm may fall behind on payments, such as rent, utilities, or even payroll. Your sustainable financial strategy should include using practice management software that simplifies your billing cycle through automation and cloud technology syncing.

Ideally, you should look for ways to simplify billing, including automatic approval levels for checks, claim ledger management, and check requests.

3.    Cloud-based technology

An essential tool in maintaining your firm’s sustainable financial strategy is accessing real-time data through a cloud-based system. Real-time data provided by cloud technology allows you to operate using the most current information available, rather than waiting for updates on client payments or case details. It’s also necessary to gain insights into your firm’s KPIs and understand where you can improve.

Create a Sustainable Financial Strategy With backdocket

At backdocket, we offer tangible support for your sustainable financial strategy. Our practice management software is designed specifically for small to mid-sized law firms looking to expand their practice.

And we help grow our clients’ practices by offering automated billing and streamlined practice management features rolled into one convenient cloud-based package.

If you’re curious about how backdocket can help you create a lasting financial strategy for your firm, contact us today for a free demonstration.