Profits for legal firms play a crucial role in a world of fierce rivalry for business, where more and more deals fail than thrive. Law firms must be as profitable as possible. This can seem like a daunting mission for a company that doesn’t possess the gift of gab or a set of bionic hands. Yet, by making a few slight tweaks, you can quickly boost your legal firm’s profitability. Here are five suggestions for improving law business profits.
1. Creating a marketing budget: The American Lawyer reports that larger law firms often spend between 2 and 5 percent of their total revenue, while smaller firms tend to spend between ten and five percent. The typical legal marketing budget for a law firm ranges from 3% to 10% of revenue, and it mainly depends on the practice area. Knowing your worth and creating a budget enables you to use your profits to expand the size and influence of your legal practice as well as future profits.
2. Increase billable hours: Law firms can boost profits by minimizing the number of hours that associates are working. This is because some young lawyers accept assignments for little to no pay and then just bill their time on them as if they were full-time jobs. If the business can reduce the hours worked by its employees, they will be able to earn more per hour. Also, don’t put off reporting any billables until the end of the week or the month.
3. Increase productivity: You must be familiar with the Pareto principle, which states that roughly 20% of actions yield 80% of the effects. Adding more associates to a law firm’s workforce is a common attempt to boost efficiency, but this hurts earnings because it raises expenses without bringing in more money. Law companies ought to put more effort into increasing production per associate and cutting overhead costs to enhance productivity.
4. Know your FTE revenue: How do we make note of our FTE revenue? This looks into your revenue per employee, assuming that each employee works full-time. This means that if you work full-time but hire two contractors at half-time, you have two full-time equivalent employees. A minimum of $150,000 per FTE should be earned, and if a business is booming, $275,000 per FTE should be expected. If you’re not receiving it, your price for keeping your promises might be too expensive. Check to see what manual tasks you can automate or remove.
5. Set up a separate budget for technology expenses: Law firms should create an IT budget that is distinct from other budgets within the practice area or business unit to prevent overspending. Embracing the right type of technology can increase the firm realization rate. For example, U.S. firms that used the ALB AI Time Entry Cleansing application increased their revenue by $48.69 million in 2021.
You may assess your utilization rate as well since it gives attorneys and other legal professionals a clear indication of crucial facts and information on which to base business choices.