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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

TechnoFeature piece on starting a firm

I'm an e-mail list from www.technolawyer.com that sends pretty good little tech tips for lawyers. It's free sign-up if you're interested. Here's a blurb from today's piece regarding
10 business tips for law firms:

1. Have a comprehensive business plan.
2. Remember that the client comes first. Without clients, there is no reason for a lawyer to exist.
3. Sell solutions ("provide value") to clients, not time as expressed in billable hours.
4. Begin each matter with an engagement letter — a written agreement outlining the scope and responsibility of each party, including the client's responsibility to pay.
5. Prepare budgets for each matter: tasks, events, timing and resources to be used for the benefit of the client. This process requires early analysis and client signoff.
6. Understand that their inventory is not "billable hours," it's the cash those hours represent, and they focus on collecting accounts receivable and maintain a high realization rate.
7. Practice effective cash flow management by getting funds into the bank as quickly as possible.
8. Recognize that technology — e-mails, blogs, cell phones, and voice mail — cannot replace personal relationships, personal integrity, and rapport with clients.
9. Work with a coach or mentor to achieve business and practice success more quickly.
10. Have a disaster plan in place and keep it current. Business survival and succession cannot be left to chance.

The above piece was written by Edward Poll, a law firm management consultant. I don't know him but he's got a website and a blog that seem to have some good legal business stuff.


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