Winslow Homer "The Fog Warning"

Profitability is the number-one survival challenge for small law firms and solo practices today.


Walker Clark has been delivering cost-effective management advice and assistance to small law firms worldwide since 2002. We understand the special challenges that small firms and solo law practices face in keeping competitive and profitable in today's rapidly changing legal markets.

We also understand that these firms have very little tolerance for waste, inefficiency, and unprofitable practices that most larger firms can easily absorb. This is why we recommend a "zero tolerance" profitability strategy for our small law firm clients.

To meet the most critical need of these firms, we have developed the Walker Clark Small Firm Profitability Diagnostic. This is an efficient, self-diagnostic process that allows solo practitioners and partners in small law firms to identify, clarify, and establish action priorities to address the issues that are preventing their practices from achieving optimal, sustainable profitability.

A senior Walker Clark advisor specifically assigned to your firm guides you at every step. We provide the tools that your partners and financial managers will need to review the financial performance of up to three of your major practice areas.

Why do we focus on three practice areas, instead of the entire firm?

In our experience advising law firms over the past 16 years, we have observed that no more than three practice areas or specialties usually have a disproportionate impact on the overall financial performance of a small firm. The most cost-efficient way to build long-term profitability is first to identify and diagnose these three critical practice areas. This will produce the best short-term results, as well. Then the lessons learned from those three areas can be adapted and applied to other practice areas.

There also is a practical reason.

Partners in small law firms are very busy people. Focusing on the significant few factors, rather than trying to solve all of the problems at once, is more likely to get done.

four steps to better profitability

Although this is a self-diagnostic project, we assign a senior Walker Clark consultant as your profitability "coach," to guide you through the four steps of the Self-Diagnostic.

step 1: assemble the team and the tools

We begin by delivering the analytical tools that you will use to:

    • Select the three critical practice areas for the Profitability Self-Diagnostic.
    • Conduct a fully-informed, in-depth evaluation of the specific factors that have the greatest impact -- positive and negative -- on the profitability of each of the three critical practice areas.
    • Identify a set of practical actions that will produce the greatest return on your firm's investment of partner time, management attention, and financial resources.
    • Document the results of your self-diagnostic for future reference and guidance.

step 2: conduct the self-diagnosis

The partner responsible for a selected practice area usually is in the best position to complete the Self-Diagnostic. We will provide instructions, advice, and guidance throughout to that partner throughout this process.

step 3: review the results

We will review,comment upon, and suggest possible improvements to the written results and draft action plans prepared by your partners.

step 4: implementation support

Unlike some consulting firms, we do not just drop a report on your desk, wish you good luck, and disappear. Instead, every Small Firm Profitability Diagnostic includes a 60-day implementation support period at no additional fee, during which we remain available to answer questions and provide additional advice about implementing your profitability action plans. We also include a follow-up consultation by telephone six months later, also at no additional charge.

your investment in sustainable profitability

Because our service is delivered entirely on-line, by e-mail, and by telephone, we can offer our Small Firm Profitability Diagnostic to any small law firm anywhere in the world for a fixed fee of US$ 9,500, payable in installments -- an investment that most law firms can recover through improved profitability and better financial performance in 6 months or less.

For more information about the Walker Clark Small Firm Profitability Diagnostic, please send an e-mail or telephone us at one of the numbers at the bottom of this page.



Do you belong to a larger law firm?  Because of the special financial and practice-management characteristics of most small law firms, we usually do not recommend the Walker Clark Small Law Firm Self-Diagnostic as the best long-term investment for firms with more than a total of eight equity and non-equity partners or their equivalents. Click here to learn about the Walker Clark Strategic Profitability Diagnostic for mid-size and large firm.

Does your firm need a fresh look at your strategic objectives.  Click here to learn about the Walker Clark Strategic Priorities Review.

Looking for an in-depth review of your firm's internal operations?  Click here to learn about the Walker Clark Comprehensive Management Systems Review.