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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of December 25, 2012

LawBiz(r) newsletter

This time of year is mixed with wrapping up old matters and thinking about starting new ones. Take a deep breath because the two distinct views can be mixed and become overwhelming. See my blog post at of a few days ago and know that multi-tasking is a misnomer. Focus on one task at a time and you will get more done and be less stressed.

Best wishes for a peaceful and harmonious holiday season.

Ed signature

Can a Law Office Move Too Often?

Are Frequent Physical Moves Good for Business?
Despite the rise of virtual law practices, most clients still expect a lawyer to have a physical office. Office space and related amenities speak loudly and clearly to clients about the firm itself. Lawyers certainly share in these expectations, and often are on the lookout for better space - either because they are dissatisfied with their existing surroundings, or are looking to make a move to a location that offers more room and convenience. These are valid reasons. But, what of a lawyer who moves two, three or more times in the course of several years? Aside from the physical demands of the moving process, what will clients think of a lawyer whose location changes that often? Can the lawyer be viewed as flighty, indecisive, or even unreliable?

Put a Positive Spin on the Move
My view is that lawyers can move until they're satisfied as long as there is a positive spin on the rationale, such as more space, greater convenience for clients, additional services, or the potential for more referrals from lawyers at the new location. The key is to be more selective when choosing the new space. In both the short and long run, you'll be happier, your clients will be better served and, as a result, you will be a more accomplished practitioner.

Upcoming Lease Expirations Are Good Times to Consider a Move
The impending expiration of the lease for your office space is a good time to assess whether the firm should stay where it is or move in an entirely new direction. Assess firm economics (revenues, expenses, profitability) and practice needs for the adequacy of current space. If this analysis suggests that the upcoming lease expiration is the time to move to a new location, determine what the firm wants to pay for monthly and/or annual rent by looking at your expected revenue and determining what the percentage you want to pay in occupancy cost means as an absolute dollar figure. Look at rent from the perspective of the firm's requirements – expected revenues, affordability and practice needs. Not to be forgotten, however, is the psychological aspects of your office. You spend most of the day/week there. Be sure it's an environment in which you are comfortable and happy, even if you have to spend more on occupancy costs.

Use the Move as a Marketing Opportunity
If the numbers justify a move, make sure you are wholehearted about it – don't let lingering "flighty" worries lead you to try to sneak into a new building by just putting a line in your email signature that as of such a date you are in a new location. To do otherwise will cause you many problems. Be assertive and proud about your move. Let the "whole world" know about it and use the move as a marketing opportunity.

Financial Management of the Firm
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Keeping the financial side of your practice running smoothly requires a thorough knowledge of how generating the business, doing the business and collecting your fee intersect. Ed offers you insight on engagement agreements, pricing methods, and collection strategies to improve your firm's bottom line, as well as Disaster Preparedness to make sure your firm will be ready when the unexpected happens. Learn more.

In this issue:

Can a Law Office Move Too Often?

Financial Management of the Firm...$40 OFF - Special price!

Video: Time Management

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