Law Practice Management-- How To Identify Your Fees



When believing through their law firm marketing strategies, determining fees is a hard law practice management task for most lawyers. In determining charges for certain services, lawyers frequently fall short of what they must charge. Too many lawyers hesitate of even charging the competitive cost for their services when making their law practice marketing plans. Even more, they make the pricing decisions frequently without any information or conceptual structure. Additionally, rather of focusing their efforts on how they can justify getting top dollar for what they use, they charge a cost that is typically way too low and typically really can frighten off potential clients who believe there is something missing out on from a service that is "cheap". Additionally numerous lawyers don't realize that the majority of buyers in the marketplace without a doubt are "value purchasers" and not trying to find " inexpensive".

Prior to you sit down and start thinking through your law practice management prices technique you need some differences around prices commonly used in law company marketing planning. Do know a law practice management law firm marketing plan is not effective if you just attract people who desire to pay the least expensive charge for a service. Instead, you want to focus your law practice management and law firm marketing plans on attracting customers who will end up being long term possessions to the company.

There are essentially four methods of figuring out just how much you should be charging for your services. Lets move right into those now.

The Market Technique In Law Practice Management Pricing

This is one good way of figuring out pricing. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management job and invest a long time finding what the range of pricing remains in the community. Have her do a "mystery shopper" research study by calling around as if he/she were a prospective customer and discover what your rivals state on the phone to her around pricing. She may need to call from her home phone to avoid caller ID. As another alternative you could have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your competitors and use to exchange your fees for their costs or you might do that with other attorneys yourself in your market. If you actually want to enter into it and have maximum data you can write maybe a couple of lots competitors in your market and state you are doing a fee survey and if they would send you their cost list you will develop a composite list that does not identify those reacting and send them a copy of the results. To keep it basic for them consist of a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most common services provided in your practice location. Now you will see what people are charging for services comparable to those you offer. You ought to have the ability to develop a variety of rates. Utilize this variety to set prices for your own services. My suggestion in law company marketing preparation is to charge at the 75% level of the list. So you need to be at or in the top 25% of the charges.

Keep in mind that in basic it is not a good law practice management technique to complete on cost. Many prospective customers will see rates that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the service provider, or the firm. And people who are looking for a low rate will follow that her comment is here low rate anywhere they can discover it instead of ending up being long-lasting customers. Be sure that your cost covers your costs and a sensible earnings margin.

The Cost Method in Law Practice Management Prices

This law practice management pricing approach is really uncomplicated truly. The most typical error in law practice management utilizing this approach is to overlook to include some kind of your expense.

In law practice management typically you count yourself out of the expenses and you should include yourself in the expenses. Often you are doing at least some of the management work. If you are all 3 of these in one, you ought to consider one wage as due you for your time and knowledge 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 method used by numerous car mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other provider. This technique is where you determine a fixed rate for various jobs and charge that rate no matter what. If the mechanic spends less time than allocated for the task, he makes more. If he invests more time than designated, he earns less. However in the end, everything evens out (well, normally to the mechanics' favor if you ask me). Another example using this method is how handled health care has utilized this system with hospitals and medical professionals . Attorneys can utilize this system if they want.

The " Guideline of 3" in Law Practice Management Pricing

This " guideline of thumb" called the "rule of 3" utilized in law practice management is not what your CPA might inform you and it does not fail you either. Ask your Certified Public Accountant what they consider it and they will like it. To start we are going to be thinking in thirds. For the first third we will take the total amount of salaries/bonuses (not benefits just wages-- advantages go into the second third coming next) for the income generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are producing profits) and call that our very first 3rd. Add up the salaries of the attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries who produce earnings or are timekeepers and call this your very first 3rd (lets simply say that number was $100,000 to keep it basic). Whatever that number is take that number once again and it is your second third which we will call your "overhead" (thus that second third is $100,000 and don't forget you if you are doing some handling partner type tasks because that part of your time goes here in overhead). Take that 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 find out just how much you should 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 third number times three (in this example $300,000).

This technique shows you just how much per hour you require to charge. Considering that you know the number of billable hours each earnings generator can do per month, merely 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 assured of a 15% to 30% net make money from your operations. After all if you are the owner of the practice you deserve a reasonable earnings too do not you concur? This approach is referred to as the Guideline of Three. If this approach is a bit too complicated do feel totally free to contact me and I will help you sort it out in a couple of minutes on the phone.

It is a excellent idea to analyze all of these rates approaches in identifying your law practice management pricing method before setting a rate and moving ahead with a law practice marketing strategy to guarantee you are thoroughly checking out all options. Remember the tendency for a lot of attorneys is to price too low. Do not do that! In another article I will tell you how to speak to prospective clients so you never have a issue getting the charge you deserve.

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