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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of October 15, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

So many faces and so many different languages; so many interesting people, all walking in a great hurry. Where are they going? Where did all these people come from? English was the single most-spoken language but, on this day in this location, English was by no means the majority language. Spanish, Chinese and German were the languages I heard. Through the sounds of sirens and horns, it all works. Not sure how, but it does and it's great to be a visitor here in NYC.

During this last week, our breakfasts in Chicago, NY and San Jose were great successes, with outstanding conversation. I had the privilege of learning more about the culture of the small firm practitioners in these diverse geographic areas.

Check out our new Group Coaching program for those who are considering leaving the practice within the next few years. Sign up now.

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Who Gets the Credit in Your Firm?

Partner compensation from hours billed will be governed in any firm by those metrics that define how the firm views itself and how work is done for clients. Such metrics could emphasize origination (percent of new business that the lawyer brings in), total hours worked, or hours assigned to other lawyers in the firm (a traditional hallmark of rainmakers). Metrics that emphasize compensation in an institutional rather than an individual sense will ultimately do more to increase the lawyer's compensation as well as the firm's revenue and profitability. This latter objective is, or should be, the ultimate goal of any firm.

Many lawyers, unfortunately, seem to lack an understanding of this institutional concept, and focus solely on their own personal book of business. The broader implications of how individual fees, collections and compensation interact within the firm tend to be depreciated. Yet nothing is more important to the future of law firms than removing the issue of who actually serves the client from the individual context alone, and placing it at the heart of the firm's financial life.

When rainmakers focus only on their own business origination and client service, the idea is lost that clients belong to the firm, not to a lawyer. Firms that service major clients with teams (not just a single rainmaker) can cross-sell between teams according to a strategic plan, and can give clients a complete and virtually seamless service package. Client billing is simplified, and bonuses can go to those teams that get results. Steps like these institutionalize both compensation and profitability.

Serving clients through teams rather than just a single rainmaker allows the firm to serve a full range of client concerns. A billing attorney coordinates the service provision, rather than getting origination credit, giving the client "one-stop shopping" from a group of lawyers who are chosen to address specific needs, both in terms of practice specialties as well as billing rates. This allows for blended high and low rates on client work, which maximizes revenue and profitability. Compensation is paid based on what is generated for the organization- not for any one individual - because the organization's revenue is maximized, and so too are profits, the lifeblood of organizational survival. By eliminating squabbles over who gets origination credit for a client, both clients and the firm are better served.

8 Steps to Greater Profitability

The Lawyer's Guide to Profitability

8 Steps to Greater Profitability

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Success is only 8 steps away ... 8 Steps to Greater Profitability: The Lawyer's Path to Prosperity is an 8-CD set that provides the most complete audio guide to law practice management available.

From crafting a business plan to selling your practice for maximum value, Ed will lead you from start to finish through the eight most crucial steps to law firm success. Earn the living you deserve and find fulfillment throughout your career - embark on the path to success today! Learn more.

In This Issue:

Who Gets the Credit in Your Firm?

8 Steps to Greater Profitability - 50% OFF!

Video: Do You Market or Sell?

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What Clients Are Saying:

"Through Ed's invaluable coaching and no-nonsense approach, I was able to not only stay employed at the firm, but to make partner and have a future with the firm."

Los Angeles, CA

"Ed knew the right questions to make me answer. He has taught me virtually everything I know about formation, planning, and now management of a successful law firm."

Los Angeles, CA

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
©2013 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.

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