Let’s face it. You are not here because you want to work harder to make more money. Anyone can do that. Any attorney can spend more on advertising and work harder. We do it all the time.
You see this?
We sent this attorney 2,120 new potential prospects and 508 of them converted. That’s about 42 new clients per month. Do you really want 42 new clients every month?
Not if it means breaking your back trying to service them. Not if it means less time with your family, less vacations, less sleep.
Here’s the rub. As a lawyer, you have to work twice as hard as every other business owner. A normal business owner has to focus on being a business owner. That’s it. You have to focus on being an attorney and a business owner.
The hard work is actually baked into the business model of being an attorney. It is kind of like it was designed to be a workaholic’s trap. So here, with all the dogmatism of brevity, is one way you can work less while making more.
Case Study #1: Free Consultations
Below is how one Texas-based law firm reduced the working hours of their attorneys while increasing billable hours by $150,000 per month.
Scott Brown is an attorney in Texas. He has three very successful law offices. He had a few attorneys who worked for him and they did anywhere from 3-6 free consultations per week.
They were completely overworked.
Here’s the thing about free consultations. They are free. You don’t get paid for them. They take time away from billable hours. Even if you work on a contingency basis and don’t bill hourly. Every free consultation takes time away from actual work that pays.
That part is obvious.
What’s not so obvious is the strain it takes on the attorney. And you may be familiar with this if you do free consults.
The people you are doing the free consults with do not know you. They don’t trust you yet. And therefore, they don’t respect your time. They reschedule, want follow up calls, etc.
And in Scott Brown’s case, his attorneys were uncomfortable asking for money. They weren’t trained sales people. They were lawyers. They should be focusing on what they are good at. The stuff they have been trained to do.
So, his attorneys stopped doing free consultations. Instead, they focused on serving clients, only. They didn’t lose a single client.
Three things happened.
- The seven attorneys (eight if you include Scott) freed up so much time, they were able to take on $150,000 worth of additional billable work every month without increasing their hours. In fact, each attorney worked slightly less than they did before.
- The attorneys were happier. This has increased the quality of the work they are doing. A happier attorney = happier clients.
- This simple method actually increased the number of clients they got by 20% without increasing their advertising spend. And they can easily service those additional clients, because they have freed up so much time.
The end result is that the attorneys are working less while making a lot more money. Everybody wins.
So, how did they do it?
We wrote a job description for an intake person, interviewed a bunch of candidates, selected one, and helped to train that person to handle free consultations. And then removed the attorneys from doing free consultations.
By simply doing these two things, within a couple of months they firm freed up over $1.8 million in billable hours per annum.
The Traffic Light System
If something will help you to work less while making more money, it gets the green light. The secret to this is being able to identify and place certain systems inside of the matrix below.
Every law firm can be split up into three categories: Marketing, sales, and operations.
Underneath each of these categories are number of green, red, and yellow items. Every law firm is different, but for illustrative purposes I have an example of one below.
The two easiest systems to implement are the intake process and the accounts receivable.
Your law firm may have lots of outstanding accounts. Law firms across America tend to have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, owed to them. By implementing a friendly, yet firm, reminder system that automatically chases down unpaid accounts, I’ve often seen an instant influx of cash.
That’s just one other example. There are dozens more.
I know I’ve packed a lot of information into a short article. Some of it may seem overwhelming. Therefore, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. By Gary Musler