Law Practice Management-- How To Identify Your Costs



Identifying fees is a hard law practice management job for many lawyers when analyzing their law office marketing plans. In figuring out fees for specific services, lawyers frequently fall short of what they should charge. Too numerous attorneys are scared of even charging the competitive rate for their services when making their law office marketing strategies. Further, they make the rates choices frequently with no information or conceptual structure. In addition, rather of focusing their efforts on how they can validate getting top dollar for what they use, they charge a cost that is typically way too low and typically in fact can frighten prospective clients who think there is something missing out on from a service that is " low-cost". In addition many lawyers don't realize that the majority of buyers in the market by far are " worth buyers" and not searching for "cheap".

Before you sit down and begin thinking through your law practice management rates strategy you need some distinctions around pricing typically utilized in law company marketing planning. Add your prices technique to your law company marketing strategies. You need to be sure that you are charging a sufficient cost on everything to ensure you a great profit not simply a great living. If you just attract individuals who desire to pay the most affordable fee for a service, do know a law practice management law company marketing plan is not efficient. These are not loyal clients. Rather, you wish to focus your law practice management and law company marketing intend on drawing in customers who will end up being long term possessions to the company. Low price clients are not building your base of long term clients I can guarantee you that.

There are basically four ways of figuring out just how much you ought to be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Marketplace Technique In Law Practice Management Rates

This is one good way of figuring out rates. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management job and spend some time finding what the variety of pricing is in the community. Have her do a "mystery consumer" study by calling around as if he/she were a prospective client and find out what your competitors state on the phone to her around rates. She may need to call from her house phone to prevent caller ID. As another option you could have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your rivals and use to exchange your charges for their charges or you could do that with other legal representatives yourself in your market. If you actually desire to get into it and have maximum information you can write maybe a couple of dozen rivals in your market and say you are doing a cost study and if they would send you their fee list you will develop a composite list that does not recognize those responding and send them a copy of the outcomes. To keep it easy for them include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most typical services provided in your practice area. Now you will see what individuals are charging for services comparable to those you offer. You need to be able to create a variety of rates. Use this variety to set prices for your own services. My recommendation in law firm marketing preparation is to charge at the 75% level of the list. So you must be at or in the top 25% of the costs.

Keep in mind that in basic it is not a excellent law practice management strategy to compete on cost. The majority of possible customers will see pricing that is too low as a signal that there is something missing out on either from the service, the provider, or the firm.

The Cost Method in Law Practice Management Pricing

This law practice management prices method is really uncomplicated truly. The most common error in law practice management using this method is to neglect to consist of some type of your expense.

OK, let me state it once again. In law practice management frequently you count yourself out of the costs and you need to include yourself in the expenditures. Why? Frequently you are doing a minimum of a few of the technical work. Yes? Frequently you are doing at least a few of the management work. Yes? As the owner of business you are due a affordable earnings. Yes? If you next are all three of these in one, you should think about one salary as due you for your time and competence as the service technician and manager along with a revenue of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. So make certain to include a affordable cost for your managerial and technical work in the expenditures part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Approach in Law Practice Management Pricing

This is the method utilized by lots of automobile mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other service companies. This method is where you figure out a fixed rate for various tasks and charge that rate no matter what. Another example using this approach is how handled health care has utilized this system with medical professionals and healthcare facilities .

The " Guideline of 3" in Law Practice Management Pricing

This " guideline" called the "rule of 3" used in law practice management is not what your Certified Public Accountant may tell you and it does not fail you either. Ask your Certified Public Accountant what they consider it and they will like it. To start we are going to be thinking in thirds. For the very first third we will take the total amount of salaries/bonuses (not advantages simply salaries-- advantages enter into the second third following) for the revenue generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are producing earnings) and call that our first third. Add up the salaries of the lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries who generate profits or are timekeepers and call this your first third (lets simply say that number was $100,000 to keep it basic). Whatever that number is take that number again and it is your 2nd 3rd which we will call your "overhead" ( hence that 2nd third is $100,000 and do not forget you if you are doing some handling partner type responsibilities since that part of your time goes here in overhead). Take that exact same number and we will call that your last 3rd, which we will call gross earnings (another $100,000). What you require to do is take the total amount (in this example $300,000) and now figure out how much you need to charge per billable hour, per repaired rate or the number of contingency fee cases won to be sure you hit the target we must strike provided our first third number times 3 (in this example $300,000).

This approach shows you how much per hour you need to charge. Because you understand how numerous billable hours each earnings generator can do per month, just divide that into your overall of all thirds ($300,000) to see what you need to charge per billable hour to make your numbers come out correctly. As long as you strike your targets you will be assured of a 15% to 30% net make money from your operations. After all if you are the owner of the practice you deserve a reasonable profit also do not you agree? This approach is referred to as the Rule of Three. If this approach is a bit too complicated do do not hesitate to contact me and I will assist you arrange it out in a couple of minutes on the phone.

It is a great idea to think through all of these pricing methods in determining your law practice management prices technique before setting a price and moving ahead with a law practice marketing strategy to guarantee you are completely checking out all choices. Remember the tendency for most lawyers is to price too low. Do not do that! In another short article I will tell you how to speak to possible customers so you never ever have a problem getting the cost you should have.

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