Law Practice Management-- How To Identify Your Fees



Figuring out charges is a challenging law practice management job for most lawyers when thinking through their law office marketing strategies. In figuring out fees for certain services, attorneys frequently disappoint what they must charge. When making their law company marketing strategies, too numerous attorneys are afraid of even charging the competitive rate for their services. Even more, they make the pricing decisions frequently without any information or conceptual framework. Additionally, instead of focusing their efforts on how they can validate getting leading dollar for what they use, they charge a fee that is frequently way too low and frequently really can terrify off prospective clients who believe there is something missing from a service that is " low-cost". Furthermore numerous lawyers don't recognize that most buyers in the market by far are "value buyers" and not searching for "cheap".

Before you sit down and begin believing through your law practice management prices technique you need some differences around pricing typically used in law firm marketing preparation. Do know a law practice management law firm marketing strategy is not reliable if you just attract people who want to pay the least expensive fee for a service. Instead, you want to focus your law practice management and law company marketing plans on bring in clients who will end up being long term assets to the company.

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

The Market Technique In Law Practice Management Rates

This is one great way of identifying prices. Get your assistant to support you in this law practice management task and invest a long time finding what the range of rates is in the neighborhood. Have her do a " secret shopper" research study by calling around as if he/she were a possible client and discover out what your rivals state on the phone to her around prices. She may require to call from her home phone to avoid caller ID. As another alternative you might have him/her call other assistants or paralegals at your rivals and provide to exchange your charges for their fees or you might do that with other attorneys yourself in your market. If you really wish to enter it and have optimal information you can write perhaps a couple of dozen rivals in your marketplace and state you are doing a cost survey and if they would send you their charge list you will develop a composite list that does not determine those responding and send them a copy of the outcomes. To keep it easy for them include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a list of the most typical services used in your practice area. Now you will see what people are charging for services similar to those you offer. You should have the ability to come up with a series of costs. Utilize this variety to set rates for your own services. My suggestion in law practice marketing planning is to charge at the 75% level of the list. So you must be at or in the leading 25% of the fees.

Keep in mind that in basic it is not a great law practice management technique to contend on rate. A lot of potential clients will see pricing that is too low as a signal that there is something missing either from the service, the service provider, or the firm. And individuals who are searching for a low cost will follow that low cost any place they can discover it instead of becoming long-term customers. So make certain that your rate covers your costs and a affordable earnings margin.

The Cost Technique in Law Practice Management Prices

This law practice management pricing method is extremely simple truly. The most common error in law practice management using this approach is to neglect to include some type of your expense.

OK, let me say it again. In law practice management typically you count yourself out of the expenditures and you should include yourself in the expenses. Why? Often you are doing a minimum of a few of the technical work. Yes? Typically you are doing a minimum of some of the management work. Yes? As the owner of business you are due a sensible earnings. Yes? If you are all 3 of these in one, you need to consider one salary as due you for your time and knowledge as the technician and manager along with a revenue of fifteen to thirty percent due you as the owner. So make certain to consist of a affordable expense for your managerial and technical operate in the costs part of this formula.

Fixed Rate Approach in Law Practice Management Pricing

This is the approach utilized by numerous car mechanics (it is called "the flat rate book") and other service providers. This method is where you determine a fixed rate for numerous tasks and charge that rate no matter what. Another example using this technique is how managed health care has used this system with physicians and hospitals .

The "Rule of Three" in Law Practice Management Pricing

This "rule of thumb" called the " guideline 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 believing in thirds. For the first 3rd we will take the total quantity of salaries/bonuses (not benefits simply wages-- advantages go into the 2nd 3rd coming next) for the profits generators and/or timekeepers (this includes you if you are creating income) and call that our first third. Add up the salaries of the attorneys, paralegals, and legal secretaries who produce revenue or are timekeepers and call this your very first third (lets just say 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 handling partner type duties because that part of your time goes here in overhead). Then take that very same number and we will call that your last third, 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 how much you must charge per billable hour, per repaired rate or how numerous contingency cost cases won to be sure you hit the target we should strike offered our first 3rd number times 3 (in this example $300,000).

This approach shows you just how much Going Here per hour you need to charge. Considering that you understand the number of billable hours each revenue generator can do each 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 correctly. As long as you hit your targets you will be ensured of a 15% to 30% net benefit from your operations. If you are the owner of the practice you should have a fair revenue as well do not you agree? This approach is referred to as the Guideline of 3. If this approach is a bit too complicated do feel complimentary to contact me and I will assist you arrange it out in a couple of minutes on the phone.

It is a good idea to analyze all of these prices techniques in determining your law practice management rates method before setting a price and continuing with a law firm marketing strategy to ensure you are completely checking out all options. Remember the propensity for most lawyers is to price too low. Don't do that! In another post I will inform you how to talk to possible customers so you never ever have a problem getting the charge you deserve.

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