The legal sector has always been slow to embrace change, and for a long time, that didn’t matter, but that’s no longer the case. At IMS, we work with estate planning and elder law firms across the country, and we see first-hand what happens when law firms can’t or won’t adapt to the new legal services model. Like it or not, being a good estate planning lawyer, or even a great estate planning lawyer, is not enough for your practice to survive.
Financial accountability. Yes, we’re saying it. Are you gathering data and analyzing billable hours versus salary and overhead costs? Are your associates earning their salaries plus covering overhead costs and generating profits? If your billing and accounting systems are set up properly, you should be able to see where you are profiting and where you are losing income. If your system isn’t set up to give you this information in a format that works for you, call your CPA and find a solution. No business owner can operate in the dark.
Automate your intake process. Attorneys need to join other professionals in moving away from paper-based intake systems. Clients and prospects see this in their own workplaces, in medical offices, schools and retail environment. A professional service firm that’s still paper-based is becoming the exception rather than the rule today.
Automate office procedures. Bookkeeping, billing and any data processing should be automated to make administrative time as cost-effective and efficient as possible.
Websites: up-to-date in design, content and functionality: You tell your clients they need to update their wills and estate plans. We tell our clients they need to update their websites. This is one of the key ways that your firm presents itself to prospects. If your site hasn’t had a fresh design in four or five years, legal services consumers will notice. Why wouldn’t you want to make it your most powerful marketing tool?
Lawyer videos: no more talking heads. Mike Campbell, Director of Videography Services at IMS recently earned his Remote Pilot Certification from the FAA, which is required by the FAA to operate drones. Our lawyer videos have always been good, but now we have added an amazing level of cinematic quality. Scroll down to “The Value of Heritage” video on this page. This is what we can do to help your firm stand out from the competition.
If you’ve worked hard to build your practice, don’t let your success get eaten away by inertia!