Law Practice Management-- How To Determine Your Charges



When thinking through their law firm marketing strategies, determining costs is a difficult law practice management task for the majority of lawyers. In determining costs for certain services, attorneys typically fall short of what they need to charge. A lot of attorneys are afraid of even charging the competitive price for their services when making their law office marketing plans. Even more, they make the rates choices frequently without any data or conceptual framework. Additionally, rather of focusing their efforts on how they can validate getting top dollar for what they offer, they charge a cost that is typically way too low and frequently actually can frighten potential clients who think there is something missing from a service that is " inexpensive". In addition many attorneys don't recognize that most buyers in the market by far are " worth buyers" and not searching for " low-cost".

Prior to you sit down and start thinking through your law practice management pricing method you require some distinctions around prices typically used in law firm marketing preparation. Do understand a law practice management law company marketing strategy is not effective if you just bring in people who desire to pay the lowest cost for a service. Instead, you want to focus your law practice management and law firm marketing strategies on drawing in clients who will end up being long term assets to the company.

There are essentially four ways of determining how much you ought to be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Market Method In Law Practice Management Pricing

This is one good method of figuring out prices. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management job and invest some time finding what the range of pricing remains in the neighborhood. Have her do a "mystery consumer" research study by calling around as if he/she were a prospective client and discover what your competitors say on the phone to her around prices. She may need to call from her home phone to prevent caller ID. As another choice you could have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your rivals and provide to exchange your fees for their fees or you could do that with other legal representatives yourself in your market. If you truly desire to get into it and have optimal data you can write maybe a couple of lots rivals in your market and state you are doing a cost study and if they would send you their cost list you will create a composite list that does not identify those reacting and send them a copy of the outcomes. To keep it simple for them consist of a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most common services provided 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 develop a range of prices. Use this variety to set costs for your own services. My recommendation in law company marketing preparation is to charge at the 75% level of the list. You need to be at or in the leading 25% of the costs.

Keep in mind that in general it is not a excellent law practice management strategy to complete on price. Most potential customers will see prices that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the service provider, or the company. And individuals who are searching for a low rate will follow that low price anywhere they can discover it rather than becoming long-lasting clients. Be sure that your price covers your costs and a affordable profit margin.

The Expense Method in Law Practice Management Rates

This law practice management pricing method is really straightforward actually. One just determines what the costs are to provide services or products and includes on a sensible profit, someplace between fifteen percent at the least and possibly thirty 3 percent at the most. The most typical mistake in law practice management using this technique is to overlook to consist of some type of your expense. Solo and little company lawyers tend to not include their own salary!

OK, let me look at here now state it again. In law practice management frequently you count yourself out of the expenditures and you ought to include yourself in the expenditures. Why? Typically you are doing a minimum of a few of the technical work. Yes? Typically you are doing a minimum of some of the management work. Yes? As the owner of the organisation you are due a reasonable revenue. Yes? If you are all 3 of these in one, you need to think about one salary as due you for your time and competence as the service technician and supervisor along with a revenue of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. So make sure to include a sensible cost for your technical and managerial work in the expenses part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Technique in Law Practice Management Rates

This is the technique utilized by many auto mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other service providers. This technique is where you figure out a set rate for various jobs and charge that rate no matter what. If the mechanic spends less time than allotted for the job, he makes more. He makes less if he invests more time than allotted. But in the end, it all levels (well, normally to the mechanics' favor if you ask me). Another example using this approach is how managed health care has used this system with medical professionals and healthcare facilities . If they prefer, lawyers can utilize this system.

The "Rule of 3" in Law Practice Management Pricing

This " general rule" called the "rule of 3" used in law practice management is not what your CPA may tell you and it does not fail you either. Ask your CPA what they think of it and they will like it. To start we are going to be thinking in thirds. For the very first third we will take the overall quantity of salaries/bonuses (not benefits simply wages-- advantages go into the second third coming next) for the earnings generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are generating earnings) and call that our very first 3rd. So accumulate the salaries of the attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries who generate income or are timekeepers and call this your first third (lets just say that number was $100,000 to keep it easy). Whatever that number is take that number once again and it is your 2nd third which we will call your "overhead" ( therefore that second 3rd is $100,000 and do not forget you if you are doing some managing partner type duties because that part of your time goes here in overhead). Then take that very same number and we will call that your last 3rd, which we will call gross profits (another $100,000). What you need to do is take the overall amount (in this example $300,000) and now determine how much you need to charge per billable hour, per fixed rate or how numerous contingency fee cases won to be sure you struck the target we should hit offered our first 3rd number times three (in this example $300,000).

This technique reveals you just how much per hour you require to charge. Since you know the number of billable hours each income generator can do monthly, simply divide that into your total of all thirds ($300,000) to see what you require to charge per billable hour to make your numbers come out properly. As long as you hit your targets you will be guaranteed of a 15% to 30% net revenue from your operations. After all if you are the owner of the practice you should have a reasonable profit too don't you concur? This approach is known as the Rule of 3. If this approach is a bit too confusing do feel totally free to call me and I will assist you arrange it out in a few minutes on the phone.

It is a good concept to believe through all of these pricing techniques in determining your law practice management prices method prior to setting a cost and moving ahead with a law company marketing plan to ensure you are thoroughly checking out all alternatives. In another short article I will tell you how to speak to potential customers so you never ever have a issue getting the fee you should have.

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