Law Practice Management-- How To Identify Your Costs



Determining fees is a tough law practice management job for most attorneys when thinking through their law company marketing strategies. In figuring out costs for specific services, lawyers often fall short of what they ought to charge. Too lots of attorneys are scared of even charging the competitive rate for their services when making their law practice marketing plans. Even more, they make the pricing choices frequently with no information or conceptual structure. Furthermore, instead of focusing their efforts on how they can justify getting leading dollar for what they provide, they charge a fee that is typically way too low and frequently in fact can frighten possible customers who believe there is something missing from a service that is " low-cost". Furthermore lots of attorneys do not understand that a lot of buyers in the marketplace by far are " worth buyers" and not searching for " low-cost".

Before you sit down and begin thinking through your law practice management rates method you need some distinctions around prices typically utilized in law firm marketing planning. Do know a law practice management law company marketing strategy is not reliable if you only bring in people who want to pay the most affordable charge for a service. Rather, you desire to focus your law practice management and law company marketing plans on drawing in clients who will end up being long term possessions to the company.

There are essentially four methods of figuring out just how much you need to be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Marketplace Approach In Law Practice Management Pricing

This is one great method of figuring out rates. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management task and spend a long time finding what the variety of prices is in the community. Have her do a " secret shopper" research study by calling around as if he/she were a possible customer and learn what your rivals state on the phone to her around rates. She may need to call from her house phone to avoid caller ID. As another choice you might have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your competitors and offer to exchange your costs for their fees or you could do that with other lawyers yourself in your market. If you truly wish to enter into it and have optimal information you can write possibly a couple of dozen competitors in your marketplace and say you are doing a cost study and if they would send you their charge list you will develop a composite list that does not identify those responding and send them a copy of the outcomes. To keep it easy for them consist of a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most typical services offered in your practice area. Now you will see what individuals are charging for services comparable to those you use. You should have the ability to come up with a variety of costs. Use this variety to set prices for your own services. My recommendation in law practice marketing preparation is to charge at the 75% level of the list. You need to be at or in the top 25% of the charges.

Keep in mind that in general it is not a excellent law practice management technique to compete on rate. Many potential customers will see prices that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the company, or the firm.

The Cost Approach in Law Practice Management Prices

This law practice management prices approach is extremely straightforward truly. One simply identifies what the costs are to deliver services or items and adds on a sensible profit, somewhere in between fifteen percent at the least and maybe thirty three percent at the most. The most typical error in law practice management using this method is to disregard to consist of some form of your expenditure. Solo visit this site and small firm lawyers tend to This Site not include their own wage!

OK, let me state it once again. In law practice management typically you count yourself out of the expenses and you should include yourself in the costs. Why? Frequently you are doing at least some of the technical work. Yes? Often you are doing at least some of the management work. Yes? As the owner of the company you are due a sensible revenue. Yes? If you are all 3 of these in one, you must think about one income as due you for your time and proficiency as the service technician and supervisor in addition to a profit of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. Be sure to consist of a reasonable expense for your supervisory and technical work in the expenses part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Method in Law Practice Management Prices

This is the method used by numerous automobile mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other service suppliers. This approach is where you figure out a set rate for numerous tasks and charge that rate no matter what. Another example using this method is how managed health care has actually utilized this system with hospitals and medical professionals .

The "Rule of 3" in Law Practice Management Rates

This " guideline" called the "rule of three" used in law practice management is not what your Certified Public Accountant may inform you and it does not fail you either. Ask your CPA what they consider it and they will like it. To begin we are going to be believing in thirds. For the first third we will take the overall amount of salaries/bonuses (not benefits simply incomes-- benefits enter into the second 3rd coming next) for the revenue generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are generating earnings) and call that our first 3rd. Include up the incomes of the legal representatives, paralegals, and legal secretaries who generate earnings or are timekeepers and call this your first third (lets simply say that number was $100,000 to keep it easy). Whatever that number is take that number once again and it is your second third which we will call your "overhead" ( hence that second third is $100,000 and do not forget you if you are doing some handling partner type duties because that part of your time goes here in overhead). Take that same number and we will call that your last 3rd, which we will call gross profits description (another $100,000). What you need to do is take the total quantity (in this example $300,000) and now find out just how much you must charge per billable hour, per fixed rate or the number of contingency fee cases won to be sure you hit the target we should hit offered our very first 3rd number times three (in this example $300,000).

This approach shows you how much per hour you need to charge. If you are the owner of the practice you deserve a reasonable earnings as well do not you concur? If this technique is a bit too complicated do feel totally free to call me and I will help you sort it out in a couple of minutes on the phone.

It is a good concept to analyze all of these pricing methods in identifying your law practice management rates technique prior to setting a rate and moving ahead with a law office marketing strategy to guarantee you are completely exploring all alternatives. Keep in mind the tendency for many legal representatives is to price too low. Don't do that! In another post I will inform you how to talk to potential customers so you never ever have a problem getting the charge you should have.

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