A law firm strategy can help orient your business around your bottom line – and can even tell you when hiring alternative legal service providers is a viable strategy.
Lawyers operate in a stressful environment – the work they do is of the utmost importance to their clients. This work is measured by billable hours. As every lawyer knows, there is hardly enough time in the day to accomplish everything they need to do.
Orienting their goals with a law firm strategy can help ensure the success of solo and private legal practices. It can also open doors towards where time is wasted, and where money is best spent. As billable hours are the primary generator of revenue, alternative legal service providers like contract paralegals and virtual receptionists can help you put money back in your pocket.
When you’re developing your law firm strategy, should you include alternative legal service providers? We investigate the value of evaluating your strategy, and finding the places where you money is best spent.
What is a Law Firm Strategy?
While lawyers serve a vital function in our society, the models of solo and private practices demand that operators first consider themselves as a business. Revenue streams are the ultimate driver of success for a business – for lawyers, this means netting billable hours.
Solo and private legal practices, however, cannot rely on billable hours alone to drive revenue. If a lawyer spends their entire day focusing on a case, other things such as incoming leads that need to be qualified or ongoing education fall to the wayside.
A law firm strategy can help align your goals as a lawyer with your needs as a business.
In short, a law firm strategy includes various aspects that will help define your business and determine what parts you must grow to avoid a feast-or-famine cycle of operations.
- As a business, legal practitioners need a clearly defined mission and values, a target demographic, and a record of past successes.
- Set fair pricing models that are attractive to customers while meeting your bottom line.
- Study trends that show to clients you are continuously educating yourself about changes in the law, and how this is incorporated into your business.
- Develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the health of your legal practice.
- Perform a competitor analysis to adjust model on a quarterly basis.
By developing a law firm strategy, you are ensuring that your business is not only attractive to clients, but you will also gain a greater perspective on the successes of your business. What do you need to change in order to keep up with the pace of your competition?
Should My Law Firm Strategy Include Alternative Legal Service Providers?
A large legal practice consists of multiple levels of employees – this includes ancillary services such as paralegals and secretaries that are able to keep the flow of business aligned with the current workload.
Solo and private legal practices may not have the same resources at hand to meet their daily tasks. For this reason, alternative legal service providers have become an attractive option for law firms on a tight budget.
Unlike in-house staff, ALSPs operate on an as-needed basis. Rather than paying a salary with benefits, this staff comes fully trained with customized messaging and specialization for your business. They can be billed hourly, by the minute, or even by the second.
Virtual Legal Receptionist
A virtual legal receptionist functions much in the way a receptionist operates in-house. They take incoming calls, help qualify prospective leads, and present you with the best options so that your time isn’t wasted.
By utilizing messaging specifically for your business, callers won’t know that you’ve hired a contract legal receptionist. Time spent qualifying leads can instead be spent on more pressing tasks that can be billed, putting more hours in your day.
A contract paralegal is, much like any other paralegal, a specialist trained in on tasks that matter for your business. Unlike an in-house paralegal, you can hire them on as-needed.
When there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with clients, a contract paralegal can help keep your operations running smoothly. They are generally paid on an hourly basis.
When Building Your Law Firm Strategy, Consider Alternative Legal Service Providers
Alternative legal service providers can supplement your business model to keep operations running smoothly, particularly for solo and private legal firms that don’t have the budget to hire out a full team. Once you’ve determined that you need ALSPs, however, the challenge of finding a partner becomes paramount.
Amata Law Office Suites is more than just an office space – we provide ALSP services like contract paralegals and virtual legal receptionists in-house for the lawyers that call our buildings home. Small legal practices need all of the tools for success they can muster, and we can provide. Contact us for more information about our services.