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Written by Norman Clark
Published: 27 August 2014
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Where (or who) are the most important profit centers of your law firm?

Most lawyers would reflexively respond, "Our partners, of course!"  or, if they are in a generous mood, "Our lawyers."

Well, not exactly...

These are true answers for some law firms.  Indeed, the fee earners are the ones who earn the money that, one hopes, will produce profits.  However, this traditional view overlooks the fact that, especially in law firms in the 100 to 300 lawyer range, the senior management team and their staffs actually can have a greater influence on the firm's bottom line than the firm's biggest rainmakers.  This is because, in a well-managed law firm, the senior management team -- the firm administrator, CEO, CFO, and others -- do more than just control costs.  They also maintain the infrastructure that fee producers need to be as productive as possible.

So how can your management team become a de facto profit center for your firm?  My colleagues at Walker Clark LLC and I suggest two starting points:

This might sound too "industrial" for the cultures of some law firms.  However, in almost every instance in which our firm has diagnosed a serious profitability problem in a law firm, one of the most important contributing factors -- and sometimes the main cause -- of the problem has been a breakdown in the two-way flow communications and support within the internal operations of the firm.

To learn more about how to turn internal operations into a a profit center for your firm, click here to learn more about the Walker Clark Comprehensive Management Systems Review.

Norman Clark