Law Practice Management-- How To Determine Your Charges



Identifying costs is a tough law practice management task for the majority of attorneys when analyzing their law firm marketing strategies. In identifying costs for specific services, lawyers typically fall short of what they need to charge. A lot of attorneys hesitate of even charging the competitive cost for their services when making their law office marketing strategies. Further, they make the rates decisions frequently without any information or conceptual structure. In addition, rather of focusing their efforts on how they can justify getting leading dollar for what they use, they charge a cost that is often way too low and frequently really can scare off prospective customers who believe there is something missing from a service that is " inexpensive". Furthermore many lawyers don't recognize that a lot of buyers in the market without a doubt are " worth buyers" and not searching for " low-cost".

Prior to you sit down and begin believing through your law practice management rates technique you need some differences around rates frequently utilized in law firm marketing planning. Do understand a law practice management law firm marketing plan is not effective if you just attract people who desire to pay the least expensive fee for a service. Rather, you want to focus your law practice management and law company marketing plans on attracting clients who will become long term possessions to the firm.

There are basically four ways of determining just how much you must be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Marketplace Method In Law Practice Management Rates

This is one excellent way of identifying pricing. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management job and spend a long time finding what the series of prices is in the neighborhood. Have her do a " secret buyer" study by calling around as if he/she were a prospective customer and discover what your competitors say on the phone to her around prices. She may require to call from her home phone to avoid caller ID. As another choice you might have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your competitors and use to exchange your costs for their charges or you might do that with other lawyers yourself in your market. If you truly wish to get into it and have maximum data you can write possibly a couple of lots competitors in your market and state you are doing a charge study and if they would send you their fee list you will produce a composite list that does not determine those reacting and send them a copy of the results. 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 people are charging for services comparable to those you provide. You ought to be able to create a series of prices. Use this range to set rates for your own services. My recommendation in law firm marketing preparation is to charge at the 75% level of the list. You should be at or in the leading 25% of the costs.

Keep in mind that in general it is not a excellent law practice management method to complete on rate. Many possible customers will see prices that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the provider, or the browse around these guys company.

The Cost Method in Law Practice Management Rates

This law practice management prices technique is very straightforward really. One merely determines what the costs are to provide services or items and try this site adds on a affordable profit, someplace in between fifteen percent at the least and maybe thirty three percent at the most. The most common mistake in law practice management using this approach is to disregard to consist of some kind of your expenditure. Solo and small company lawyers tend to not include their own salary!

OK, let me say it again. In law practice management frequently you count yourself out of the costs and you should include yourself in the expenditures. Why? Frequently you are doing a minimum of some of the technical work. Yes? Typically you are doing at least a few of the management work. Yes? As the owner of the service you are due a affordable profit. Yes? If you are all 3 of these in one, you ought to think about one wage as due you for your time and proficiency as the professional and supervisor in addition to a profit of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. Be sure to consist of a sensible cost for your technical and supervisory work in the costs part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Approach in Law Practice Management Rates

This is the method used by numerous car mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other service suppliers. This technique is where you identify a set rate for various tasks and charge that rate no matter what. If the mechanic invests less time than allotted for the job, he makes more. If he spends more time than designated, he makes less. In the end, it all evens out (well, typically to the mechanics' favor if you ask me). Another example utilizing this method is how handled health care has utilized this system with hospitals and doctors . If they desire, legal representatives can utilize this system.

The "Rule of 3" in Law Practice Management Prices

This " general rule" called the "rule of 3" used in law practice management is not what your Certified Public Accountant might inform you and it does not fail you either. Ask your Certified Public Accountant what they think of it and they will like it. To start we are going to be believing in thirds. For the first 3rd we will take the overall amount of salaries/bonuses (not advantages just incomes-- advantages go into the 2nd 3rd coming next) for the profits generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are creating revenue) and call that our very first 3rd. So add up the salaries of the lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries who create profits or are timekeepers and call this your first 3rd (lets simply say that number was $100,000 to keep it easy). Whatever that number is take that number once again and it is your 2nd 3rd which we will call your "overhead" (thus that second 3rd is $100,000 and do not forget you if you are doing some handling partner type responsibilities since that part of your time goes here in overhead). Take that very same number and we will call that your last 3rd, which we will call gross earnings (another $100,000). What you require to do is take the overall quantity (in this example $300,000) and now find out just how much you need to charge per billable hour, per repaired rate or the number of contingency charge cases won to be sure you hit the target we should hit given our first 3rd number times 3 (in this example $300,000).

This approach shows you how much per hour you require to charge. Given that you know how lots of billable hours each revenue generator can do per month, 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 correctly. As long as you hit your targets you will be assured of a 15% to 30% net benefit from your operations. After all if you are the owner of the practice you are worthy of a reasonable earnings also don't you concur? This approach is known as the Guideline of Three. If this method is a bit too confusing do feel totally free to contact 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 rates methods in determining your law practice management prices strategy prior to setting a price and continuing with a law firm marketing strategy to ensure you are completely exploring all alternatives. Keep in mind the tendency for the majority of attorneys is to price too low. Don't do that! In another post I will inform you how to talk to prospective clients so you never ever have a issue getting the cost you deserve.

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