Law Practice Management-- How To Determine Your Charges



Identifying fees is a hard law practice management task for a lot of lawyers when believing through their law practice marketing strategies. In determining charges for certain services, attorneys typically fall brief of what they must charge. When making their law firm marketing plans, too numerous lawyers are scared of even charging the competitive rate for their services. Even more, they make the rates decisions often without any data or conceptual structure. Furthermore, instead of focusing their efforts on how they can validate getting leading dollar for what they offer, they charge a cost that is often way too low and typically really can frighten prospective customers who believe there is something missing from a service that is " low-cost". Additionally numerous attorneys don't realize that most purchasers in the marketplace without a doubt are "value purchasers" and not trying to find " inexpensive".

Prior to you sit down and begin thinking through your law practice management prices technique you require some differences around prices commonly utilized in law company marketing preparation. Do know a law practice management law company marketing strategy is not efficient if you just draw in people who want to pay the least expensive cost for a service. Rather, you desire to focus your law practice management and law firm marketing plans on attracting customers who will end up being long term properties to the company.

There are generally 4 methods of identifying how much you must be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Market Approach In Law Practice Management Pricing

This is one excellent way of identifying prices. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management task and invest some time finding what the variety of rates remains in the community. Have her do a "mystery shopper" study by calling around as if he/she were a possible client and learn what your rivals say on the phone to her around rates. She may require to call from her house phone to prevent caller ID. As another choice you could have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your rivals and use to exchange your costs for their costs or you might do that with other attorneys yourself in your market. If you really want to enter into it and have optimal data you can compose maybe a couple of dozen rivals in your marketplace and state you are doing a charge survey and if they would send you their charge list you will produce a composite list that does not identify those responding and send them a copy of the results. To keep it basic for them include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most typical services used in your practice location. Now you will see what individuals are charging for services comparable to those you offer. You need to be able to create a series of rates. Use this variety to set rates for your own services. My recommendation in law office marketing planning is to charge at the 75% level of the list. You ought to be at or in the top 25% of the fees.

Keep in mind that in general it is not a excellent law practice management technique to contend on rate. The majority of prospective clients will see prices that is too low as a signal that there is something missing out on either from the service, the service visit the website provider, or the firm.

The Cost Approach in Law Practice Management Prices

This law practice management prices approach is really uncomplicated really. One merely determines what the costs are to provide product and services and includes on a reasonable revenue, someplace between fifteen percent at the least and maybe thirty 3 percent at the most. The most common mistake in law practice management using this technique is to disregard to include some type of your expenditure. Solo and little firm attorneys tend to not include their own wage!

In law practice management frequently you count yourself out of the expenditures and you must include yourself in the costs. Typically you are doing at least some of the management work. If you are all three of these in one, you need to think about one income as due you for your time and proficiency as the technician and manager as well as a profit of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner.

Fixed Rate Approach in Law Practice Management Rates

This is the technique utilized by lots of car mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other provider. This approach is where you determine a fixed rate for various jobs and charge that rate no matter what. He makes more if the mechanic spends less time than allotted for the job. He makes less if he spends more time than designated. However in the end, it all evens out (well, typically to the mechanics' favor if you ask me). Another example utilizing this technique is how handled health care has actually utilized this system with healthcare facilities and medical professionals . If they desire, legal representatives can use this system.

The "Rule of 3" in Law Practice Management Pricing

This "rule of thumb" called the "rule of three" used in law practice management is not what your Certified Public Accountant may inform 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 believing in thirds. For the first 3rd we will take the total quantity of salaries/bonuses (not advantages just salaries-- benefits go into the second third following) for the profits generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are producing earnings) and call that our first 3rd. Include up the wages of the attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries who generate income or discover this are timekeepers and call this your first third (lets simply state that number was $100,000 to keep it simple). Whatever that number is take that number once again and it is your 2nd third which we will call your "overhead" (thus that second third is $100,000 and don't forget you if you are doing some managing partner type tasks since 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 revenues (another $100,000). What you need to do is take the total quantity (in this example $300,000) and now figure out how much you need to charge per billable hour, per fixed rate or the number of contingency charge cases won to be sure you struck the target we need to strike offered our first third number times three (in this example $300,000).

This approach reveals you just how much per hour you require to charge. Because you understand how numerous billable hours each revenue generator can do monthly, simply divide that into your total of all thirds ($300,000) to see what you need 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 benefit from your operations. After all if you are the owner of the practice you are worthy of a reasonable profit too don't you agree? This approach is referred to as the Guideline of 3. If this approach is a bit too confusing do feel complimentary to call me and I will help you sort it out in a couple of minutes on the phone.

It is a excellent idea to think through all of these rates techniques in determining your law practice management pricing method prior to setting a cost and moving ahead with a law firm marketing strategy to ensure you are completely exploring all options. In another article I will tell you how to speak to prospective clients so you never have a problem getting the charge you deserve.

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